They are blessed who grieve, for God will comfort them. Matthew 5:4, NCV
Lord, please bless the broken, the bent over, the shattered, the faint of heart. You know we are all broken from something in this life. Whether from tragedy or unfortunate circumstances or from disease; there are no exceptions. I long for you to visit my town and heal my brokenness. There would be standing room only in a line spanning miles and miles just to get a glimpse. You know each sorrow, each pain, each struggle and you see each victory too. May we hope in restoration ~ which will come, for you have promised. Thank you for blessing those who mourn, amen.
“There was a woman present, so twisted and bent over with arthritis that she couldn’t even look up. She had been afflicted with this for eighteen years.” Luke 13:10, MSG
Can you picture her? She’s so bent over that her eyes face downward. All she can see are feet ~ hers and a few others if they happen to drift into her vision. But more likely she is avoided as if stricken with a contagious disease. Gravity and disease had twisted and pulled at her spine until she was humpbacked and living life as an outcast if you can call this living. It had been 18 long years! And what she wouldn’t give for relief ~ even if only for a few minutes so she could take a deep breath; something as simple as this involuntarily action which we take for granted, but she had not been able to do it for a long time.
Suddenly she is being spoken to. Jesus did not call her name, but addressed her as “Woman”, but she knew this kind voice was speaking to her. Slowly and painfully she walked toward the sound . . .
When Jesus saw her, he called her over. “Woman, you’re free!” He laid hands on her and suddenly she was standing straight and tall, giving glory to God.” Luke 13:10-13, MSG
How wonderful that today was her day for miraculous healing! She must have jumped for joy! The witnesses were happy for her too, but not all of them. The self-righteous religious leaders were furious that Jesus would heal this poor woman on the Sabbath and shouted loud enough for everyone to hear . . .
“Six days have been defined as work days. Come on one of the six if you want to be healed, but not on the seventh, the Sabbath.” But Jesus shot back, “You frauds! Each Sabbath every one of you regularly unties your cow or donkey from its stall, leads it out for water, and thinks nothing of it. So why isn’t it all right for me to untie this daughter of Abraham and lead her from the stall where Satan has had her tied these eighteen years?” Luke 13:14-16, MSG
Seriously? Which one of them would want to wait for healing if they were in excruciating pain? It seems like Jesus couldn’t heal anyone without the Jewish leaders complaining or attempting to push Him off a cliff! (Luke 4:29, NCV) I so love Jesus’ tenderness and love, but I also love His bold stance for justice, don’t you? He yearned to heal people from sin and disease. But did you notice who He blamed for this woman’s affliction? He planted the blame squarely on the back of Satan.
It was the prince of darkness who bound this woman for 18 years and it was the Son of Righteousness who set her free!
It is natural to look for a culprit when we are so broken with aching hearts. If we are looking for someone to blame for the death of a loved one, we have our answer right here. We can pin the blame squarely on Satan for he is to blame, not God. This story was told a long time ago, but Satan hasn’t changed his character. He still seeks to maim and destroy. (John 10:10, NIV) And God hasn’t changed his character either. He still seeks to save the lost. (Luke 19:10, NIV)
There are days when I feel the enemy’s boot on my back, pushing me into the dirt of life. He wants me to crack under pressure. He wants me to give up and quit. He can sneer, blow smoke from his nostrils, push and shove, but he can’t make me follow him. He knows we survivors are a force to be reckoned with when armed with the Word of God and it makes him tremble. When we are bent over and stuck from the cares and woes of life, who does not benefit from the healing touch of Jesus? All we have to do is call on his name.
He placed his hands on every one of them and healed them all. Luke 4:40, GNT