Projects of personal transformation rarely if ever succeed by accident, drift or imposition. -Dallas Willard
Eight years ago I got a second chance. I remember lying in bed, helpless and hopeless. I didn’t even have any strength left to be prideful. That is when I began a conversation with Jesus that went a little something like this:
Me: Hey Jesus, uh…you wanna save me from this? Make sure I don’t die?
Me: SERIOUSLY?!?! (I’m pissed now)
Jesus: Get up and move forward Kara. I’m right here, I’m not going anywhere but YOU have to be the one to start walking. I’m not going to make you do anything. I won’t “save” you, but I will love you through this.
Me: fine. whatever. I’ll walk, alright?
Years later I look back and laugh at that first encounter with him. Thankfully Jesus has a really good sense of humor for messed up, broken people like myself. One of the first pieces of scripture I remember ever reading and really tearing apart word by word to find the true meaning was John chapter 5. The story of the healing at the pool is so powerful to me. This man, who had been sick for nearly four decades is approached by Jesus and instead of instantly healing him, He asks the man a simple question:
Do you want to be made well?
Instead of touching him with a healing hand or offering therapeutic words of hope, Jesus puts the man’s restoration and healing into his own hands. He wants the man to act because transformation can only truly happen if it starts from a place of desire. Does this man really see a need for change? Does he want to be made well? What’s the risk?
I love that story because I can relate to it. I long for restoration and freedom. I desire to LIVE and not just be stuck in survival mode every day. And here’s the best part: Jesus meets us right where we’re at, not where we think we should be. He jumps right into the pit with us. Think about it- Jonah experienced transformation in the belly of a whale, Peter’s came through complete and utter denial, for Thomas it was doubt. Transformation for David even came after adultery, pride…so I guess there’s hope for me!
An invitation to healing is an invitation to risk.
“Get up. Take up your mat and walk.” It’s a risk to stand up and walk forward. I know it was for me. It still is some days! That’s the beautiful thing about this journey…its never fully over. You learn, you dream, you heal and you move forward, you stumble and fall down, get back up and keep going.
Transformation isn’t magic. It’s not a quick fix. It’s not a one time gig. It’s a beautiful, messy LONG journey into a revealing and uncovering look at our hearts. It’s one foot in front of the other. We can’t do it alone. But we each have to first desire change. Today I am thankful for the healing that has happened in my life over the last eight years and because of that I am encouraged to move forward each time Jesus asks me “do you want to be made well?”