Passion vs. Pain

Emotional tug of war

Another great Sunday message! Pastor Jurgen preached from Mark 10:46-52 about the account of Bartimaeus' encounter with Jesus. When Bart, we'll call him Bart for short, heard that Jesus was coming through to Jericho, he began to cry out for Him. You see, Bart was blind and on this day found himself sitting on the roadside begging. He had no doubt heard about all the wonders which Jesus had been doing and he wanted a miracle of his own. He was quieted by those around him as he tried to get the attention of the Savior, but he called all the more. He got Jesus' attention and was asked by Him, "What do you want me to do for you?" Pastor Jurgen explained that when Jesus asks us questions such as these, it isn't because He doesn't know the answer. He wants us to give the answer, He wants us to make our requests known to Him. And that's what Bart did, he told Him he wanted to see.

And that's so important.

Jesus knew that he needed to see but He asked him what he wanted from Him. Often times, we know what we need but until it becomes a want, there won't be any change. Take recovery from an ed, one can know (even deep down) that they need help and treatment but until they actually want it, there won't really be any change. Bart was determined to be healed and see (no pun intended) change that day when he crossed paths with Jesus. He didn't let his lack of sight keep him from reaching out for healing, rather, he used it to push him further to it. One of the things the pastor said was that "until the passion inside of you is greater than the pain facing you, there will never be change". Bart had that passion and that's what drove him to seek that change from God.

Sometimes in the Bible, Jesus would encounter people and ask them if they wanted to get well before actually doing anything to heal them. I have wondered about this because it seems like such an unnecessary question for Jesus to ask a sick person. They're sick, of course they want to be well. But... Along this journey of mine, it has come to my attention that sometimes we "sickos" don't hop right on the "well wagon" for whatever reason. So Jesus' question to us of "do you want to be well" is not that absurd. Please note I am not talking about times when healing seems to be delayed and feels like it takes an eternity despite our desire to be delivered. Sometimes healing is miraculous but other times it isn't even when we desperately want it. It is often a process and just because we have not been completely healed yet in those instances does not mean we don't want it (or aren't believing enough, or praying enough, or any other "enoughs"). I am speaking of the times when, frankly, we don't want to be well.

And maybe that's because our identity is in whatever illness we're facing. Maybe we feel as though we can only receive love if we're sick. Maybe we feel invisible without it. Or maybe, and perhaps more strong of a reason than those others mentioned, we can't bear to face the pain at the root of the illness. I am referring to mental illness here. Facing the root of our mental anguish is sometimes an extremely painful undertaking and it's easier to stay sick and reject recovery than it is to remove the band aid that's barely covering the infection. So what are we going to do friends, are we going to be like Bart and cry out, "Son of God, have mercy on me."? Or do we continue to let the blood soaked bandage stick to our open sores as septic sets in?

This is a question with which I am faced as well. It is very tough. It hurts. It's overwhelming. But I do know that God is there for us when we are ready to let Him be the Good Physician and clean out the wounds and get rid of the infection so we can begin to heal. I had to pause after I wrote that because doesn't that just sound so painful? Yikes. A sick person can go into the hospital and see the doctor but still leave unwell. The hospital is not what cures them or makes them healthy, it's the procedure they undergo. It's letting the doctor do whatever needs to be done in order to restore their health. That just spoke to me. They can go in and hear everything the doc has to say about their infection and appropriate steps to take but if they leave without allowing the work to be done, they'll stay sick and get worse. The infection will spread until it has consumed them.

And that's what sometimes happens to those of us with mental illnesses rooted in addiction and anxiety. The longer we stay away from help, the worse the infection gets and the more intense treatment must be. If you are exhausted from taking this in, don't worry, I am too. But it's a new year. It can be our best year in certain areas of our lives but our passion for that has to outweigh our fear of the pain. What say ye?

Comments

  1. VERY POWERFUL TRUTH! I will share it with our group!!!

    ReplyDelete

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