Day 10

Christ Restores Broken Bodies

from the The Miracles of Jesus reading plan


Luke 5:18-26, Matthew 12:10-13, Luke 13:10-17, John 5:1-15

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Luke 5:18-26, Matthew 12:10-13, Luke 13:10-17, John 5:1-15

The migraines started in the winter. At times I was dizzy, other times nauseated, but my head was always pounding. In the summer, I sat across from a doctor as he explained that I had a rare, incurable condition called Diabetes Insipidus. Basically put, my body can’t retain water, which means if I drink a glass of water, it travels through my body in about 25 minutes. It’s an endless cycle of hydration, a thirst that’s never quenched.

At first, it was a relief just to have an answer. But over time my morale tanked and my body crashed. I found myself using most of my energy just to get the prescribed nine to eleven liters of water into my system each day. There was no cure. No rest.

When I read about Jesus healing the man at Bethesda, I come a little undone. Not because all is suddenly well, but because I can so easily imagine the man giving up hope after living on the fringe of community for so long. What I cannot imagine is thirty-eight years of a broken body. One year has been more than enough for me, and a lifetime is far too much to think about if I want to keep my sanity.

But here’s the thing that really haunts me: Jesus says to the man, “Get up… pick up your mat and walk” (John 5:8). He tells the man to walk, but He doesn’t just mean physically. There’s always a bigger picture with Jesus.

Scripture tells us a Jewish festival was taking place at that time in Jerusalem (v.1). The healed man was able to attend the feast as a restored member of society, no longer an outcast. During the celebration at the temple, Jesus finds him and says, “See, you are well. Do not sin anymore, so that something worse doesn’t happen to you” (v.14).

Jesus is getting at something much deeper—our sweet Savior is talking about the heart, about spiritual paralysis. He says, in essence, “You think that was bad? There are far worse fates.” Jesus’ charge to walk has a much more significant meaning: to step forward in faith, repent, and believe. The physical healing was never the end of the story.

When faced with long-term devastation, we ache because we feel that horrible tension of longing for better while living with broken. To watch Christ administer miraculous healing to broken bodies in Scripture reminds us that one day, we will all be healed and whole and well. But now, today, we live in both broken bodies and a broken world.

There are days when I go a few hours and forget that my body is broken. But there are also days when I feel myself starting to lose my grip—when I look in the mirror and think to myself, Surely, this is going to stop. And it doesn’t.

So this is what I do: I take slow, steady sips of water. I take one day at a time. And by His grace, I lean into Jesus, through the long-term illness that keeps me close to Him. When I feel paralyzed by what seems to be both a life sentence and a death sentence, I find that He is ever-present in my struggle (Psalm 46:1).

Jesus beckons to me in my broken, crippled body to “pick up my mat, and walk.” He invites me into faith, into a taste of eternity now in relationship with Him.

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Melissa Zaldivar is a social in the world of academics and an academic in the world of socials. Ever the Enneagram Six, she likes to dream big, talk herself out of it, and then just do the thing already. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Bible/Theology as well as a Master’s in Theology. Her passions include eating Jimmy John’s sandwiches, showing people pictures of her nieces, and nerding out over biblical languages. If you ever need to know anything about obscure Puritanical American history or NASA, she’s your girl.

Post Comments (78)

78 thoughts on "Christ Restores Broken Bodies"

  1. Madeline says:

    This article hits close to home with me, as soon as I saw the word migraine; lights went off. I have suffered from migraines most of my life, they started around the age of 9, I am now 21. With this said, the pain has greatly affected the way I live my life, I remember days when the pain was the worst, I would lie in my bed in a dark room and ask myself “how will God ever use me if I have this much pain all the time? How can God create a future for me when all I can do with my migraines is close myself off from the world?” Sometimes the thought that migraines would plague my life into my later years scared me a lot, how would I work through the pain to do the things I know God so wanted me to do? I got to a point where I realized that I could have it a lot worse, that I was thankful for the many blessings God had put in my life thus far, I understood that God was and would continue to hold me through the pain, and fulfill the good work He had started in me. I am doing a lot better now, with lots of prayer, and a migraine prevention medicine. I wouldn’t wish the pain on anyone, but I am thankful for the realization God brought unto my heart through my pain, I wasn’t alone, as every one of you is not alone in your suffering whatever it may be. You are loved, you are chosen, and you are a daughter of a Heavenly Father who cares about you more than you can comprehend, just let that sink in.

  2. Mel says:

    I know this isn’t the same. But I also long for healing. My problem is my mind not my body. I have bipolar type two and post, my mind just holds me hostage and I feel so out of control. Things have gotten better the last year, but still…I just wish God would take this from me

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Praying for you, sweet Mel. Asking the Lord to restore your mind and to release you from this. So, so grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  3. Debbie Gartland says:

    I prayed and asked Holy Spirit this morning to open my eyes thru devotions. This so resonated with me. Have been dealing with some debilitating symptoms on/off for the last several years. Recently diagnosed with Sjogrens syndrome. Have been syruggling with fear, body image, fatigue. asking God for healing. BUT GOD ..i am learning at 55 to really lean in, trust that God is for me. would not want to be anywhere else. PRAISE GOD

  4. Pamela says:

    Yes, moving forward and walking daily. Jesus heals today…. I do not have to wait for my healing . He is the WORD !!

  5. Shelley says:

    I shared a bit the other day but this study really spoke to me. Background: was in hospital for surgery Aug 30, 5 days later they came and said they had to take my colon. All of a sudden words like Crohn’s and Colitis are being tossed at me. ME! I’m never sick. I have no history that goes with those 2 diseases. They take the colon —do pathology on it-no signs of either…what the heck. Life with an ostomy has been extremely difficult for me and I know the only way I have got through the last 7 months is GOD. Patience, hope, trust!! My mantra. PRAISE GOD, I received good news this week, I am having surgery to reattach in September. Why this happened I don’t know. What I do know is that “I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength”, and “In what time I am afraid I will trust”. Hard to trust in the midst of pain and questions but when it’s all you have to hang on to–you do. I thank God for the surgery (never I’d say that) but more important I thank Him for the journey of faith, hope and trust He’s brought me and continues to bring me through.

  6. Debbie says:

    Peace that only Jesus provides! I am bi-polar and His word is where I go to find peace! Thank you!

  7. Stephanie says:

    Thank you.

  8. Micah lee says:

    Oh how timely considering I had to take my boyfriend into an emergency root canal this morning. He’s been having various tenderness and pain in his mouth for all his life. This is just one of those things for him and it frustrates him to no end because he hates feeling weak. Glad to read this today.

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