Wishing Well


When you approach others, don’t focus on what you may think their needs are... ask them! Of course they wish to be well, but their interpretation of wellness may be very different than yours.

When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, "Do you wish to get well?" (John 5:6 NASB)

An elderly woman recently wrote to me with a heart-wrenching testimony.  Having suffered a childhood illness that left her wheelchair bound, she has struggled with attending church or worship services. It wasn’t that she couldn’t get there, it was that once inside, it appeared that strangers would approach her and ask her if she’d like prayer.

Now, this in itself is a sweet thing – that the body of Christ would reach out – but it seemed that those who did were offering her only prayers of physical healing.

I must say, as I read her words I found myself pondering and mulling over what she was saying. You see, when asked if she would like to be well, in her heart she would interpret ‘well’ as ‘normal’. That people wanted God to restore her legs so that she could blend in and be more . . . acceptable. Her response in her heart was, ‘I know my value in God’s eyes and am comfortable with who I am.’

I recall after my skin cancer surgery that some well-meaning person who was staring at my scabbed nose whilst sharing an elevator ride, commented on the way out, ‘You know, a plastic surgeon might be able to help you with that’. Ouch! Here I was feeling almost ‘normal’ again and this complete stranger pointed out a huge insecurity in my life at the time.  (And the irony – it was a plastic surgeon that had done the ‘damage’).

Well, back to the hurting woman’s words, I love how she would verbally answer people who approached her for prayer with, ‘What do you have in mind exactly?

Love it! You see, sometimes when we go to someone and ask them if they would like prayer, we may be focused on the cane, or the oxygen tank, or the wheelchair . . . but for all we know, they may have just buried a loved one the day before!  Or their house may be in risk of foreclosure!  Perhaps they may not even have a personal relationship with Christ yet! What are we thinking?

This is what my distant friend was trying to help me to see – and what she wanted me to share – that when we approach others, don’t focus on what you may think their need is . . . ask them! They of course do wish to be well, but their interpretation of wellness may be very different than yours.

Father, thank You for providing healing – physical, spiritual and emotional – through the death of Your Son. Forgive us for only seeing the outside and assuming that we know the needs of others. Help us to see the whole person. Holy Spirit please fill us afresh that we would be more discerning. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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