“Do you want to get well,” Jesus asked.

The sick man on the porch replied, “Sir, I have no one to help me...”

You know, there is something to be said for the porches of life. It is so much easier to remain in our self-pity. It is so much easier to cling to our problems. It is so much easier to give up and succumb to the odds. “Do you want to get well?” It’s a valid question for all of us.

Bernie Siegel in his book “Peace, Love and Healing” described an older man who had cancer and remarkably recovered. In describing the man’s recovery, Dr. Siegel said, “Jake is too busy living to be sick. That’s his real secret.”

I was talking the other day to a friend with a serious illness. He said that three things kept him going: his faith in God; his love for humankind; and his determination to live. Good for him.

“Do you want to get well?” As we contemplate our answer to this question of our healing, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, our attitude plays a crucial role in our healing. Jerry Kramer, once a star football player for the Green Bay Packers, has compared his coach, the late, great Vince Lombardi, to a spiritual healer.

“Coach Lombardi never takes second place when it comes to Oral Roberts or any of the rest of the healers. He can just walk into a training room filled with football players, and he’ll say, ‘What the blank’s wrong with you guys? There’s nobody here hurt.’ And the dressing room will clear immediately. And all the wounded will be healed.”

If it were only that simple. But attitude does play a crucial part in our healing.

Writing in his book “Rediscovering The Gift of Healing,” the Rev. Larry Althouse states that we should stop thinking of ourselves as “the patient.” The more we identify ourselves with that role, the more likely it is to become permanent. Instead, we should visualize ourselves as we will be when we are completely whole.

Regardless, attitude plays a crucial role in our healing.

Second, no person or situation is beyond the reach of God’s healing concern.

The guarantee of faith is not freedom from pain and suffering but companionship.

And what’s true of Jesus in the New Testament is also true of God in the Old Testament. The Jews didn’t know God first as powerful Creator or Ruler of the universe. What they knew of God in the first place was simply God “with” them in their deliverance from Egypt; they knew God’s promise to be with them in the covenant at Sinai and they knew God’s presence with them in the difficult times in the wilderness. I reiterate, what the Jews knew of God in the first place was simply God with them.

So, no matter what we are going through, no matter what’s happening to us, Jesus’ promise to us is, “I am with you always even to the end of the age.”

George Matheson, a Scottish minister and hymn writer, beautifully wrote, “There is an Arm that never tires/When human strength gives way/There is a Love that never fails/When earthly loves decay.”

Really now, do you want to get well? It’s a valid question.

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The Rev. Hal Brady is an ordained United Methodist minister and executive director of Hal Brady Ministries, based in Atlanta. You can watch him preach every week on the Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters TV channel Thursdays at 8 p.m.

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