This may be your story. Sometimes The Bible is like looking into a mirror. We read about other people. And then somewhere in the reading, we realize the story is our story too.
Luke 13 tells the story of a crippled woman who was in church (the synagogue) when Jesus changed her life.
She had likely been there before. Maybe she had been there to seek healing. Maybe she needed some serious prayer partners.
But it was not working for her. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. She had been that way for eighteen years.
We don’t know how old she was when she became that way. I wonder if she became that way gradually. One burden placed on her. She might not have noticed at first.
But then there was another and another. She bent more and more under the weight of the cumulative load.
Who was responsible? Satan. Jesus revealed she had been bound for 18 years by satan. She was crippled by a spirit. It was on her back. She could not see the weight. She just felt it.
She could not straighten up. Her view of the world became different.
The problem went on for a long time. Perhaps she wondered why she had been singled out to carry this burden. Perhaps she felt a little bitter that others had been healed and she had not.
But still there was a tiny part of her that longed for God to do something for her. She still came to worship Him in the church. If nothing else, it gave her comfort and a little more strength to hobble back out into the world.
She did not expect healing on that day. She did not expect the young teacher to call on her. When He called her to come forward, we don’t know what she thought.
Perhaps she may have hesitated, not wanting to display her infirmity to everyone. They had all seen her before, but to her relief, they no longer gawked. To be singled out now might have frightened her.
But I like to believe there was something in the way Jesus called her that reached past any hesitation.
Perhaps He called her by name. He knew her. He knew every second of the life she had lived. He had been with her constantly.
She took the step of faith. She went forward. She looked at Jesus. Don’t miss this. She could not stand up straight. I believe He bent down to her eye level. He came down to her and met her where she was.
And then He simply said, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Luke 13:12
Set free! All debts paid. All sins forgiven. All fears and doubts gone. All bitterness removed. Free of years of suffering. Every burden satan had even piled on her gone.
It is interesting to note the order in which Jesus did things.
He called her. She had a choice. Would she respond or not?
He asked her to do something that would begin to activate her faith, even if it seemed beyond her comfort level. Would she do it?
He came down to her. Even if she could not straighten up, would she look at Him?
He spoke The Words of Truth to her. She listened. She was set free of her infirmity. Would she believe Him?
And then He touched her. He touched her after she received. His Touch was a celebration of what she had already received.
And then she joined Him in celebration.
“Immediately she straightened up and praised God.” Luke 13:13
She did not wait for Jesus to pull her up. She believed Him and stood up straight herself!
What heavy loads are you carrying on your back? How long have you been carrying them?
Jesus is calling you right now. Will you come forward? Will you silence all the thoughts in your head that say He would never pick you?
Will you ignore the thought that this is not the right time? Will you stop wondering what other people will think?
Will you tell satan to back off when he tries to tell you Jesus was never there for you before? Why should you think now will be any different?
Will you take the first steps and just meet Jesus in whatever condition you are in? Will you focus completely on Him for a moment and listen?
When He tells you that you are free, will you believe Him? Simply put aside every other thought and believe Him. Trust Him. Line up with The Truth He tells you.
Will you let Him touch you? Will you let Him make it personal? Will you celebrate your new life, your new freedom with Him?
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Take My Yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”