Monday, January 2, 2012

Questioning Jesus

Have you ever questioned Jesus? Or does just the thought make you gasp? If good communication marks a healthy relationship, then dialoguing with Jesus - even questioning Him - seems healthy, right? After all, Jesus loved questions. That's how He handled the woman at the well, the chief priests, and countless others with whom He interacted.

But the question He posed to a chronically ill man struck a nerve in me, "Do you want to get well?" (see John 5:6.) I imagined myself questioning back, "Duh, Jesus, of course he wants to get well! He's tired of living this way. He came to see You, didn't he? What other proof do You need? Sheesh!"

Sure, the man wanted to get well. But how much so? He had traveled to the edge of the pool only to make excuses. No one was there to help him. Other people got ahead of him. Blah, blah, blah. Jesus challenged him to get up, walk, and take an active role in his healing.

Today I stare at a photo of myself from 50 pounds ago and ask, "Michele, do you want to get well?" My heart replies, "Duh, of course I want to get well! I'm tired of living this way. I had lap band surgery, didn't I? What other proof do I need? Sheesh!"

Sure, I wanted to lose weight, gain energy and confidence, and improve the quality of my life. But how much so? Perhaps I, too, have traveled to the edge of wellness only to make excuses. The band hasn't been as successful as I'd hoped and I've made all of the changes I'm willing to make.

In some ways, I'm like a sailor who dropped their boat in the water but refused to study the wind, raise the sail, and steer. To that I might question, "Why are you going to choose failure when success is an option?" (one of my favorite quotes from Jillian Michaels.)

If I'm completely honest with myself, Jesus is challenging me to take the next steps toward wellness: to practice mindful eating, become disciplined with my calories, and exercise more. I guess that's why pointing a finger at someone else always ends with pointing several fingers back at me.

A heartfelt note on healing: If given the option, we would probably all choose complete healing. But life doesn't work that way. Often times, like the apostle Paul, we face difficult circumstances that cannot be willed or prayed away. Whatever you're facing, I don't belittle your pain or imply that you lack faith enough to change it. Instead, because of my own painful experiences, I offer a hug and a prayer for enduring strength. 

Image: Dominic Harness /

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