John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer prizewinning novel The Grapes of Wrath begins with a scene in drought-ravaged Oklahoma during the Great Depression. With the crops dying and the land choked by dust, the women watched the men to see if they would break under the strain. When they saw the men’s will to carry on, they took heart. Steinbeck writes, “Women and children knew deep in themselves that no misfortune was too great to bear if their men were whole.” The issue was not happiness, prosperity, or satisfaction, but wholeness. This is the great need of us all.

In the King James Version of the Bible, the word whole is often used to describe Jesus’ work of physical healing. When the Lord encountered a man who had been an invalid for 38 years, He asked, “Wilt thou be made whole?” (John 5:5-6 kjv). After Jesus healed the man, He challenged him to also embrace spiritual wholeness: “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you” (v.14).

If we only want something Jesus can do for us, our relationship with Him will be limited. When we want Jesus Himself, He brings completeness to our lives. Christ wants, first and foremost, to make us whole.