We all long for community, and sometimes, we can get so fixated on the loneliness that we link it to our bad health.

The truth is that this isn’t far-fetched. Studies have shown a positive correlation between friendships and family and our overall health and that even having a pet can boost our immune function.

For a certain man sitting near the pool of Siloam, his dearth of loved ones and relatives was all but soul-crushing (John 5:.

He saw it as an impediment to reaching his goal of being healed and of one day walking again. The Bible says that an angel would stir the waters of the pool of Siloam and that whoever was the first person to enter in would be healed of whatever ailed them.

The man who was ill would try to get to the pool to receive his healing, but when he was on his way, somebody would get there first. He would miss his chance each and every time, and for thirty-eight years he lay prostrate on his mat, alone and, likely, feeling unloved.

In his own words he said, ‘I have no man’.

Have you ever felt like that? Like you had nobody?

There is an old phrase and song of the same title that says nobody knows you when you’re down and out, and this sentiment largely is shown to be the truth. We can see that when the Prodigal Son left his father’s home with his inheritance that he had friends and was the life of the party, but when the money ran out, he was left alone to eat corn husks with the pigs.

That is so often true in life.

We need community, and when that community fails us, we greatly suffer, and this man was no different. He wasn’t having a pity party, he was merely stating the truth: he was alone, he was unwell, he had no access to healing, and he had no hope.

When Jesus came to this man, He asked Him a question. Did he want to get well?

You may think, of course he wanted to get well. Don’t we all?

Not necessarily. Sometimes there are things we gain by being sick. We don’t have to stand up and be seen, we don’t have to dream big dreams that scare us, and we don’t have to take risks and possibly fail. We may feel safer in our sickness, and this is especially true if others feel threatened by our successes.

When Jesus asks him if he wants to be well, he looks to the pool as his only means of healing and says he is alone and cannot make it to the pool in time. Jesus does not give him an answer concerning the obstacles in his life to wellness: his lack of family or friends. Instead, Jesus says, ‘rise, take up thy bed, and walk’

Rise.

Jesus is making another way.

Rise.

You’re going to change location.

Rise.

You’re going to encounter new things.

Rise.

You’re going to do this on your own, without the people, just you and Jesus.

Rise.

Your healing will be immediate. Do not wait another day to receive healing.

Rise.

‘Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.’ Isaiah 35:6

Rise.

‘Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?’ Isaiah 43:19a

Rise.

‘I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.’ Isaiah 43:19b

Jesus is not concerned with the connections and social credentials you do or do not have. He does not need earthly things to do the extraordinary. His power is shown in the life of an abject man, alone and ill who had no other help but Jesus.

Do not focus on the people you lack or the resources you don’t have, but instead, put your trust in who is right there beside you – Jesus.

If the cards are down, but you have Jesus, you still can be alright, and you still can get your healing. If you’re at the back of the line, Jesus might circumvent the traditional processes and ask you this same question: do you want to get well?

If you do, it is time to rise.

Rosa Hopkins – radio recording artist, syndicated radio show host, writer, gospel singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter.

You can find me at: http://www.facebook.com/roahopkinswriting

I blog at: www.gutsychristianity.com