My nemesis has always been the easy question, the short answer.
In school, I despised true/false questions on tests. I’d have been happy to write you an essay, but heaven forbid I had to nail it down to one lousy word. I always managed to overthink it—agonizing over nuances, seeking out potential loopholes, and doing mental gymnastics until my mind (and my eraser) wore thin.
When I’m taking opinion surveys, I get equally stressed by number rankings. On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate the service? Out of five stars, how much did you like the book? On a scale of 1 to 10, how are you feeling? Again, I could give you a full narrative, brimming with details, but for the love, please don’t make me commit to a cold, hard number.
Now that I’m married to a man who is economical with his words, I’ve noticed this pattern of mine rearing its head in less than flattering ways. He’ll ask me a simple question requiring a one-word answer (Yes? No?) and I’ll tell him a story instead, leaving him adrift to translate my answer into checkboxes.
The problem seems to be the worst when it comes to admitting I need help. My servant-hearted husband asks things like:
Do you need me to run any other errands?
Would you like me to parallel-park the car?
What else needs to be cleaned?
Can I help you?
And what should I do in these situations? I should whip out my short answers of YES PLEASE and THANK YOU. But instead I make excuses, give explanations, try to pretend I can handle all of it, all the time.
I’m sure I’ve read the account of Jesus healing the blind man a bunch of times since my Sunday school days, but something new struck me when I recently read it again.
When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” —John 5:6-7
Did you catch that? Jesus asks him a simple question—Would you like to get well?—and the guy answers a different question altogether, explaining why it’s impossible.
The answer is YES, dude. Yes, you want to get well.
Take it from someone who tends to get it wrong: if Jesus asks you if you want to be healed, don’t make excuses. Don’t tell him why it’s impossible. Don’t list all the reasons it won’t work. Don’t go on and on with a story. Just say yes, and let him figure out the rest.
So what about our own ailments? Not all of us are battling physical blindness, but there’s no doubt something we need healing from.
Do you want to be healed from the worry that plagues you when the clock is stuck at 2 a.m.?
Do you want to be healed from the fear that chokes you from spreading your wings to do the very thing you were made to do?
Do you want to be healed from the unforgiveness that’s gnawing away at your gut?
Do you want to be healed from the wound that was left by the betrayal, the unkind words, the severed relationship?
YES. The answer is yes—you want to be well, and so do I. That doesn’t mean all our prayers will magically be answered just the way we want them to. But Jesus is asking. He is ready to heal.
Will you say YES?