Michael's Monthly Column "Throwing My Loop"

Throwing My Loop…    

By:  Michael Johnson  



      Ever been in those?  Troubled waters, I mean?  If we capsize in the rapids while in a real river, we start kicking for the top of the water as soon as we can.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?  We really need to get out of that situation.  Sometimes life throws us in troubled waters of other kinds.  Sickness, injury, divorce, loss of loved ones, things like that.  In those cases, it seems harder to immediately start swimming for the surface – just seems too difficult at the moment. We’ve all have been in troubled waters from time to time and above all things, we want to remove ourselves as quickly as we can.  How is it that we do that?
     For most of my life, I’ve been so interested and so fascinated by that particular question…the question being “What is it that’s healing?”  What is it – when we are sick – that makes us better?  What are the things that make us well?  Lately, I’ve been particularly interested in that subject…
     After suffering a severely injured hand a couple of months ago, I’ve had a good deal of pain, and some scary moments as well.  As in one orthopedic surgeon saying, “I’m not sure you will regain use of that arm and hand.”  That put me in a valley so low I could hardly breathe.  The thought of never roping on Blue and Shine again…well, I just couldn’t bear that.  I was sick in a physical sense and after hearing those words, sick mentally as well.  Then my friend, Terry Bolton, reminded me of a story.  You’ve heard it, but stories this good bear repeating.
     Seems – long ago – there was this pool.  People came from all over to the pool for healing.  The blind came, the lame, the leper and so on.  The pool, according to the book of John, was in Jerusalem near the sheep market and surrounded by columns or porches.  Until the 19th century, there was no evidence outside of John’s gospel the pool existed.  Scholars argued the pool had only a metaphorical meaning rather than historical significance.  Then in the nineteenth century, archeologists discovered the remains of a pool exactly matching the description in John’s Gospel.  Archeology has now confirmed the existence of John’s account.  (Surprise, surprise.)  And one day – long ago – Jesus went there…to this pool of Bethesda.
     He – Jesus, that is – met a man there who was bedridden because he was lame and had been so for thirty-eight years.  The man had been coming to the pool of Bethesda year after year because as everyone knew “at a certain season, an angel came down and troubled the waters.”  If one could be fortunate enough to be the first one in the pool, he would be healed. 
     Talking with the man, Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be well?”  
The man said, “Well yes, but when the angel comes, everybody rushes down there before me and I don’t have anyone to help me.  I don’t have anyone to push me in the water.”  Jesus was touched.  This fellow had been coming all these years with no results but he still had faith that one day he would be made whole.  Jesus then said, “Your faith has made you well.  Pick up your bed and walk.”  And the man was healed.
     I was thinking about all that after Dr. “Bad News” gave me his gloomy diagnosis about my hand.  He then referred me to another specialist.  This second orthopedic surgeon - after asking me a hundred questions about the injury - looks me right in the running lights and says, “Do you want to be well?”
     “Like the man at the pool of Bethesda?” I asked him.
     “Yes,” he said.  “Just like him.”  Then he began to talk about how I could be healed.  “In your case,” he said, “faith can make a difference…faith that you can get well.  People who have the particular injury you have often recover completely but some don’t.  Those who don’t lose faith – because the rehab is so painful, they lose heart.  They stop trying.  Jesus can’t do the rehab for you – or perhaps He chooses not to.  Either way, He wants you to do that.  And you better do it, mister, ‘cause if you don’t, you are going to have a serious problem ever getting that hand back.  Don’t lose heart.  Don’t lose your faith that you can be well.”  And I began.
     During this trial, I have learned more about what is healing.  Healing comes from the Divine, it comes from wise counsel given by those who care about us, and healing comes from inside – from our belief and personal faith that we can be better, that we can swim out of the river, or that we have the strength to remove ourselves from a bad situation.  And healing comes from horses…
     When I do my exercises, I stand at the window looking out at the horses in the pasture.  The doctor was right – the required movements are painful.  But I welcome every wince.  Thank God I can feel my hand.
     Shine and Blue stare back.  “You coming, Pop?” they ask.
     “I’m coming, boys.  I’m coming.”

n  Michael Johnson

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

                                                                                           --Hebrews 11:1





Michael heading for the great Sonny Gould

Michael & Blue

Healing Shine

The Rowdy Cow Dog

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