Monday, June 21, 2010

Unable to Stand?

Luke 13:10-13 "One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, he saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said, Dear woman you are healed of your sickness! then He touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God!"
Here we have a woman who has been bent over double for years, eighteen years to be exact. So for eighteen years she was not walking upright. She was not able to look up and see the sun, only to look down. Can you imagine? Whatever this evil spirit was that grabbed hold of her made her to where she could not walk straight any longer. It doesn't say she was born this way, and spent her whole life crippled this way. It says, eighteen years. So just maybe she was able to stand straight at one time, walked looking up, seeing the sun before her, and had her eyes set on the beauty before her. But something happened to cause her to crumble, to bend, and to be downcast.

Ever felt like that? We can be walking along and something will cause us to stumble. There are times we fall, and get up soon, but others where after the fall it takes a while to begin moving again. Have you ever fell, tripped, or just tumbled, got up and brushed yourself off, thinking all was good, only to wake the next morning and feel the pain? Sometimes we can stumble and not feel the consequences for a while, not even be able to see them until the bruise appears. Then we wonder and ponder over just where that bruise came from.

There are times we can fall, place a band aid over it, and pray it heals without even looking at the scrape. It is not going to heal unless we watch it, care for it, and tend to the wound. We can't just cover it up and forget about it. What happens then? It can fester, grow ugly, and pain can set in, deep pain.

We need to watch our step, make sure each step is right in front of the other and keep our eyes open to all around us. It's when we close our eyes that we fall. There are times I have stumbled, only to look back to see what I fell over. When if I was focused on my steps, well, I wouldn't have tripped so hard. Sometimes it takes us falling flat on our faces to see how far and hard we have fallen. Oh, I have been there many times, only wishing I didn't have to tend to the bruises, when if I would have just been looking, I would not have slipped. I am learning though, when I fall, Jesus is right there with me. There are those times that it takes the hardest falls to make us stay on our knees awhile, searching to find the cause of our fall.

It just says in this scripture that evil spirits caused her to be crippled. Aren't we all crippled in some way or another? Couldn't we all stand a little taller, if only we kept our eyes on Jesus, watching out for the evil around us? We are all crippled in sin. We can fall in the light of the day but most of the time we fall in the dark, or at least have our eyes closed to all around us, not paying much attention to the traps before us.

But amazingly the story doesn't end there. For this woman who had been crippled not only in body but spirit, Jesus brought healing to her. He called her over to Him. I think this is a beautiful picture of God's love for us. He called her. He calls us doesn't He? He is always calling. It is when I don't answer that I seem to fall. He shows her grace and love together in one word, healed. Jesus healed her. It tells us that instantly she stood! Can you see her praising Jesus? I can see her clearly as she was once walking in such pain, now she is standing tall in the love of Jesus. In just one breath He healed her. He can heal you and I too. We don't have to be crippled by sin. We don't have to walk with a limp, or be bent over in shame. We can let go of our sin, and pain, cry out to Jesus, taking His hand and find ourselves being washed in His healing love and forgiveness.

When we are trapped in sin, we are being held in bondage. We are in chains, being held captive by sin. We can be set free in Jesus. He can release those chains, for He holds the key to our heart. This woman suffered for eighteen, long years. How long have you been suffering? Today can be the day that Jesus sets you free my friend. Today can be the day you walk tall, stand free, and praise God! Can you hear Him calling? He knows you by name and is wanting to bring new life to you today. As long as we are walking in His light, we are not going to fall. But in those times we step away, it is His grace that will bring us back into His light time and time again.

Matthew 5:3 "God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs."

Psalm 43:3 "Send out Your light and Your truth; Let them guide me. Let them lead me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You live."

Romans 5:1-5 "Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. for we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love."
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