Do you want to get well? (John 5:6 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Five-year-old Brooke was sitting in the backseat of the minivan while her mom and I ran errands. “Mommy,” she asked, “Is it worse to pick a scab or pick a mosquito bite?”
“You shouldn’t pick either one,” her mom replied.
I glanced back at Brooke as she tried to wipe away the bloody evidence that she had done both.
Little girls aren’t the only ones who pick at scabs. We big girls do it, too. Maybe we don’t pick at the brown crusty scabs that form over flesh wounds, but we do pick at bitter rusty scabs that form over soul wounds. Either way, picking at scabs keeps wounds from healing, and keeps us stuck from moving forward.
One day Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast. While He was there, He stopped by what was called The Sheep Gate Pool or Pool of Bethesda. The pool was surrounded by five covered colonnades or verandas where a great number of physically compromised people used to gather—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. They believed that from time to time an angel would come down from heaven and stir the waters. The first one in the water after such a stirring would be healed. So, there they sat, day-after-day, waiting for the mysterious rippling.
A man who had been lame for thirty-eight years caught Jesus’ eye. He walked over and asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6)
That is a strange question; or it is?
Sometimes we can grow comfortable being stuck in a bad story. Sure, there are heartaches and heartbreaks, disappointment and disillusionment, fear and fragile emotions, but at least we know what to expect out of life. Wounds can become like old friends that we wear as a badge of honor in some strange way. Sometimes it’s easier to cling to a bad story than embrace the redemption of a new one because the old one fits like a well-worn shoe. I’ve worn that old shoe with the floppy sole myself. I wonder if you have too.
For the lame man by the pool, healing would mean a drastic lifestyle change. He would have to get a job and become a responsible part of the community. He would have to stand on his own two feet literally and figuratively. Begging is all he’d ever known. Do I want to get well? Hmmm. I’m not sure. At least I know what to expect in this condition. Let me think about that.
The first step to healing from past trauma, no matter how we received it, is to decide that we want to get well and move past it—that we want a better story. We may not have deserved or caused the wound, but that’s what we got. It may not be fair, but those are the facts.
Even though the man never did answer Jesus’ question, Jesus stepped over his excuses and said, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (John 5:8). And he did.
Jesus had a knack for telling people to do what they didn’t think they could.
Stretch out the fingers of your withered hand.
Stand up straight and unbend your back.
Roll the stone away and let the dead man out.
Open your blind eyes and tell me what you see.
We all have some kind of condition. Maybe it’s not as visible as the lame man by the pool, but we have something in our stories we’d like to change. And Jesus asks the question…do you really want to live differently than you are right now?
It’s paralyzing to live in the past. Jesus provides the way to move forward—to pick up our emotional mats and walk. Let’s do it together.
LORD, I really want to stop picking at this emotional scab of hurt and shame. I want to be healed of anything that has been holding me back from moving forward. Show me if I have any past hurt or shame that I’ve been picking at and give me the power to open my hands and let it go.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What emotional scab is God calling you to stop picking at today?
Sometimes writing it out helps us hold ourselves accountable. Click on the comment button. Let’s be brave and share.
More from the Girlfriends
We all have pages of our stories that we wish we could rip out and throw in the trash. Chapters of heartache from what has been done to us and shame over what has been done through us. God doesn’t want to rip out those stories but repurpose them for good. If you’re ready to turn your worst chapters into your greatest victories, know this, God is ready, too. So, sink deep into God’s life-changing truths in Sharon book, When You Don’t Like Your Story: What if Your Worst Chapters Could Become Your Greatest Victories. The next chapter is just beginning.
Includes an in-depth Bible study for individuals and groups.
Downloadable Bible Study Videos also available.
Click here if you need prayer.
© 2021 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
I woke up this morning at 2:58am from a dream I had of an old flame from my teenage years. I used to often think about him, compare him to relationships I’ve had. Even went so far as to look him up on FB! What I just realized and had to let this go, was that relationship wasn’t all that! I remembered the fond times, not the heartache that once consumed me. Then, I found myself, while making coffee, questioning myself, “Am I loyal?” My husband is not perfect, he uses colorful words, which makes us laugh. He’s a hard-worker and finds delight in taking care of us. 25 years and counting with my husband, why would I still hold on to that past relationship? Why was that person in my dream? I gave him a big hug and let go! I am loyal.
Several years ago, I emotionally abandoned my children for about 4 years. I provided for their physical needs, but I put my work and selfish goals over them. Those are dark years that hurt them deeply, and I cannot get over my shame and regret. I ignored their cries to be with them. Now it is hard for me to look at any photos from their childhood without sadness and thinking only of the pain I put them through
Oh, how I needed these words this morning! Thank you.
The pain caused by my ex-husband’s (my daughter’s father) infidelity. He’s now engaged to the affair partner and it has been eating at me, that she will now be my daughter’s step-mother. I need to move past that pain/fear and stop picking at the scab. Easier said than done.
Thank you for this devotion this am!
Crazy to say this, but, I’ve been stuck with the hurt and blame of my parents for years ( they both have passed, a very long time ago).
After watching the episode of “The Chosen” which shows the depiction of Jesus with the lame man by the healing pool, I’ve been realizing I too, need to ask for healing. Why it has taken so long? I guess, I’ve buried that pain so deeply, I didn’t see the need to bring it out.
Thank you, for helping me see, Jesus, can heal anything if we just ask!
We are so glad you’re here.
Trying to navigate numerous hurts from a family member. In my head I understand that this person has a set of problems that need to be addressed, but in my heart, the words and actions hurt so much!
I have so many sczbs I need to remove.
Thank you for these devotionals.🙏🏾🤎
I was hospitalized for 2 months last year due to a psychotic breakdown that has since been determined to have been organic in cause. Though I don’t remember anything of the first six weeks, I said things to my husband that hurt him very badly. I feel as if I am living in a constant state of anxiety and fear and my once delightful husband has become quiet and bitter and we can’t communicate any more. We are starting marriage counseling next week. He is a long time backslidden unbeliever and I am a guilt ridden believer feeling that what happened last year is the reason he is so depressed and “sad” as he puts it. I would appreciate any prayer as I’m scared about the counseling but I’m more scared to go on like this.
I pray for peace of mind and heart!
It amazes me how many times I open my email and find exactly what I need from Girlfriends in God. I have no doubt it’s God answering me. This one was SO on target I have to comment. My husband, the love of my life died 3 years ago, and I found myself in a toxic, on again off again, relationship with a man who only sees his needs. The total opposite of my husband, but for some reason I keep letting this man back into my life and my heart. I reached a breaking point on Monday and said no more, but every time I look I’m picking at this scab asking, “why am I not enough? Why can’t he love me? What am I doing wrong?” Pathetic right? As I read “picking Scabs,” I opened my hands and my heart and I’m praying God will cleanse me of all desire and need for this man in my life. Thank you for being the conduit for His Love and Message.
OH friend, we’re all struggling with the same yuck! We love you.
Thank you for the message today. I have so many scabs I have been picking at. I am grateful for this community to learn how to look at life differently and to seek God’s face in all situations.
WE are so glad you are doing life with us!
Thank you for this message. I have been struggling with a few scabs caused by my best friend. I tell myself I’ve forgiven her but deep down I know that I truly haven’t. God knows the situation and I want it to be fixed, I miss our old friendship. I’m not saying I want the old unsaved Friendship back…I want the old/new but SAVED friendship back!! Please pray for me that I can let go of the scabs of ALL past hurts from ALL that have hurt me and whom I have hurt in return help me to heal from those hurts and help me to forgive myself from the guilt I’ve been carrying around for the past 14 years. God knows that guilt ~ thank yo7 in advance.
Many Blessings and God’s Grace,
I prayed for you today!
I am still on the road to healing. Thank you for this reminder that I should not look back.
I’ve been retreating into a dark place, afraid to retire but unable to work as hard as my job now requires, some could be alleviated and made fair but after all these years I have to admit that it’s not going to happen and I can’t let it destroy me, I have to move on and choose a new path to keep us solvent, I can do this, this really helps me to be brave and just do it before it completely or partially destroys me anymore both physically and emotionally, I have a lot to live and be healthy for, I have many blessings that so many people don’t, thank you for the much needed reminder, I truly needed it!