“Do you want to be well?” – John 5:6
Jesus asks this question to a man who had been ill for nearly four decades. Jesus knew this man was ill and yet He asked, “do you want to be well?” It is a question He asks all of us, “do you want to be well?” We say we want to be well, we say we want to be happy, but what are we really doing about it? Are we constantly sitting and complaining about the same things over and over again (God knows I’ve been doing this lately) or are we actually going to do something about it? Are we going to take our brokenness, our emptiness to the One who bought our brokenness with His life? (see Matthew 27:3-10.)
The more I think about it and the more I pray about the more I come to realize that God loves our brokenness and our emptiness. The Christian songs seem to sing all about it lately:
“Find You when there’s nothing left of me to offer You except for brokenness” – “Find You On My Knees” by Kari Jobe
“I find you when I fall apart/Blessed are the ones who understand we got nothing to bring but empty hands/nothing to hide and nothing to prove/our heartbreak brings us back to you” – “Fall Apart” by Josh Wilson
“This is my prayer in the desert, and all that’s within me feels dry” – “Desert Song” by Hillsong
“So empty my hands…” – “Empty My Hands” by Tenth Avenue North
“Jesus, keep my heart alive…from a world that’s breaking right before my eyes” – “Keep My Heart Alive” by Sanctus Real
We are broken. We are empty. And God loves it all. Jesus paid the price for the Potter’s Field with His death. Think of the parables: God rejoices over finding the lost sheep, He rejoices over finding the lost coin. Said another way, God rejoices over our bringing our brokenness and our emptiness to Him and Him alone. Being the loving Father that He is, He would rather we bring our brokenness to Him instead of offering it to a human or to some new addiction. He made us for Himself and we become whole by clinging to the One who is never broken, never changing and never failing. Just as He rejoices over the lost sheep and the lost coin in the parables Jesus tells, so too He rejoices when we come to Him with nothing to offer but our broken and empty hearts. He knows we will experience trails and suffering in this life (remember John 16:33) but He encourages us by overcoming those trails. God doesn’t love that you are broken. God never wanted you to be broken or to suffer. Our God is a loving God but since sin entered the world our suffering became inevitable. God does love when we bring Him all of our broken pieces. Matthew West sings about this in his song “All The Broken Pieces”, “so lift them up to me, all the broken pieces…Did you hear what I said? Did you read the words I wrote down in red? I was once broken for you…” (emphasis mine). Jeses was broken for us.
So He asks us, “do you want to be well?” Well, do you? Are you going to bring Him all of the pieces of your heart, all of your emptiness? Only then can He heal you. In Lent we are broken and suffering as Jesus was broken and suffering in the wilderness. Only by leaning in, only by bringing Him all of our brokenness and emptiness can we be healed and rise with Jesus on Easter.