"Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had."
We've all been impotent, blind, halt, and withered in heart at some time. What troubles the waters to heal you in those instances?
As we read, an angel troubled the waters. Yet, the real trouble was that only one person—the first into the water— got healed.
When it comes to heart trouble, Jesus is the only answer, healing us from all sorts of distress. He is the water of life. All who come to Him get healed. However, like the one person who was desperate enough to be first to the troubled waters, are we desperate enough yet to call on Him? Or will we soldier on in our suffering?
The 'heart' of a person is full of complexity. It can be pulled, tugged and drawn all ways. At times tearing us apart with despair, confusion and hopelessness. What heals us?
The balm of Gilead is an aromatic plant from that region and used medicinally. Jesus is often called the balm of Gilead, as His healing power is both fragrant and medicinal. It is gentle on our hearts.
Some healing plants are not appealing although they heal. Actually, they can be pretty disgusting. As kids, Dad used to make us eat the herb comfrey. He'd boil it up, and we'd reluctantly (very reluctantly) try and get it down—excellent healing properties, but not so great on the taste buds.
The song, There Is a Balm in Gilead, has these simple words:
There is a balm in Gilead To make the wounded whole There is a balm in Gilead To heal the sin-sick soul
What we need with inner healing is permanency. When Jesus healed people, he had a saying, "Go and sin no more." (John 5:14). When we've been healed of trouble, do we return to that depth of inner lameness again in a few days or weeks or continue rejoicing? In this scripture, Jesus said not to sin again unless a worse thing come upon the healed person.
This means, when Jesus heals our mind and heart, that is the end of those permanent disabilities. We are not to venture to that cave entrance of impotence anymore with thoughts of entering. We are free, and Jesus commands us to stay free. To stay away from the sin of those negative thoughts, as if they are a prison cell we re-enter voluntarily.
We know little about the angel and the troubled waters at Bethesda, but we know enough about Jesus Christ to know he healed permanently. There are sufficient examples in the Bible and historical testimonies to convince us that Jesus can and will heal all our inner troubles.
If you are suffering today. If your heart feels impotent, blind, halt or withered, come to Jesus and be healed. He is not a headache pill that smothers the pain. He is a permanent healer.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that I can come and bring my troubled heart to you. Help me accept your healing. In the past, I have dwelt again on those things from which I've been healed. I don't want to do that again.
Photo by Christian Erfurt