On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
“What are you afraid of?” I asked my husband. He turned and looked at me with the most curious expression, almost as though he didn’t understand the question. “Well…nothing really,” he responded. “Nothing? You are not afraid of anything?” I queried. I have struggled with fear for as long as I can remember and God was helping me understand that I was living under the constraint of it as though it was normal! It felt like God was taking me by the hand and walking me into the light of understanding my condition. Not all at once, but gently, as I could handle the reality of my crippled state. And, as it became clearer and clearer that I was living “bent over” and unable to straighten, a desire arose in my heart…for freedom!
Sadly, we get used to being “bent over” and walk about the planet unaware that staring at the ground is not what we were made for!
Whether it is fear that pushes us downward or something else, God sees our condition and cares. He absolutely and always remembers that we were created for freedom. Jesus saw the crippled woman in synagogue and, as naturally as taking the next breath, He simply spoke the will of God over her, “Woman, you are set free.” She then felt the hands of God touch her and immediately straightened up to praise Him!
Dare we look with Jesus at where and how we are bent? It is easier to pretend that we are fine or, hide our “bent” parts so that no one will see our brokenness. We are embarrassed and ashamed but God is not! He keeps seeing who He made us to be and cherishes every bit of us…always! What is curious to me about this healing encounter is that there is no mention of the crippled woman asking for healing.
It blesses me to read that after eighteen years of being stooped over she got up from wherever she was and walked crooked to synagogue!
There she knew she would be near to God and hear his Word. What she could not have known is that on that day she would show up bent and leave straightened, loved and set free.
“Jesus, that you saw this woman reminds me afresh of who you are! A Healer, an Advocate, and a Straighten-upper:) Thank you that you never get lost in what you are doing and forget how much we need you! Come and touch me and anyone reading this in need of healing today. Amen.”
What about you?
Have you gotten use to being “bent over”? Do the things that bind you feel normal?
How do you feel about being helped to see, with Jesus, where you are “bent over”?
Can you trust Jesus to take you by the hand to freedom?
God is the One who lifts up, straightens and breaths freedom! Please don’t settle for a life “bent over”. He came that we might have life to the full! (John 10:10)