The next step


Not long ago I broke my leg . . . I slipped and fell in the extreme sport of gardening. As I lay in the garden, I looked down at my leg to see my tibia protruding out at the world beyond its skin and flesh housing; something it should never do. It had become a garden tool scraping soil and flora as I writhed in pain away from the edge of the rock wall that I had slipped on. 

After an agonising eternity, I woke and found myself in a hospital bed with a metal rod holding my leg together and a whole lot of harmony, also known as medicine, coursing through my veins to keep my pain at bay and sending me off into faraway lands of stories and imagery that didn’t make sense at all. 

It’s almost as though we create a safety net for ourselves where we want to believe that we should rely on ourselves to be healed.

It took a number of weeks of lying still and accepting that there were going to be many more weeks of lying still before I could be “healed”—whatever that means. 

Whenever sickness or brokenness is experienced, we want to be fixed; we want to be healed. No-one wants to remain broken. 

I recall a story where a man lay beside a pool for nearly 40 years. This story is told in the book of John. He tells of a man who was sick, who was broken and in need of healing. The pool he lay beside was believed to have healing properties. It was thought that when the water stirred, the person who could get into the water first would have their infirmities cured. There was no way for this man to get into the water. He needed more than something that he could do himself. He needed something only God could provide. 

That’s exactly what happened. Jesus came along, saw the man and said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” (John 5:6*) His answer was to make an excuse saying “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me” (verse 7). The man could only see one way to be healed; yet Jesus was offering another. 

Jesus constantly offers us healing from our sinfulness. When we are offered healing, we are asked a “yes” or “no” question. And often we come up with excuses as to why we can’t get into the water and be healed. “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t have the right gifts”, maybe “I’m still working on my behaviour . . .” or “. . . one day . . .” We are no different to the man at the pool of Bethesda. It’s almost as though we create a safety net for ourselves where we want to believe that we should rely on ourselves to be healed. We forget that God’s ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8) and that He has put in place a healing process for us. We sin and that price is death (Romans 6:23), but because of God’s prevenient grace (Romans 5:8) He can offer us healing through Jesus Christ. Now! There’s nothing more I can do or have done that will make God love me more or less. 

I know that eventually my leg will heal and I will be able to walk again, even swim and run like I used to. My metal rod will always be with me and there should be no reason why I can’t live a “normal” life. 

We have this opportunity each and every day to say “yes, I want to be made well”. I want to say yes. I don’t want to be broken. I acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God and I want to be healed.    

*All texts from the NKJV.

Mark Southon is a believer, husband, father, musician, artist and lover of life.