The Comfort of Familiar Pain

The Comfort of Familiar Pain


John 5:1-5 (NIV)

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

I’ve learned over time that the healing and breakthrough we’re seeking often requires deeper work. And I’ll be the first to confess that I don’t particularly like the deeper work at first. I resist it. Because the pain has become familiar, comfortable. I’ve grown used to it. I’ve even developed habits and routines around it. It’s become part of who I am, part of my identity.

Being healed means that I’d have to step into the unfamiliar, the uncomfortable. It means that I’d have to alter my habits and change my routines and redefine my identity. Being healed takes work, and sometimes I’d just rather not. I’m tired, and transformation feels like too much work. In our pursuit of healing and breakthrough, we often encounter resistance within ourselves. The idea of stepping into the unfamiliar and uncomfortable can be daunting. 

Just as the paralyzed man made excuses, we, too, have our own set of reasons for not fully embracing healing. We may say, “It’s too hard,” “It won’t work,” or “I can’t do it.” It’s a human tendency to focus on the problem rather than the promise.


Today, reflect on the excuses that may have held you back from embracing the healing God offers. What familiar pains or habits have you grown comfortable with?

Are you ready to say “yes” to Jesus’ question, “Do you want to be healed?” Remember that true healing often requires stepping out of your comfort zone and trusting in His transformative power.

Reflect on a time when you found comfort in familiar pain or routines. How did it impact your ability to pursue healing? Are there any specific excuses or habits that have kept you from fully embracing God’s healing in your life? How can you overcome them?