My (in)courage Devotional Bible refers to her as “the Bent Woman”. Her story is brief, consisting of a mere eight verses. But it’s a story worth reading, a message worth hearing.
This precious woman had been crippled for more than eighteen years. Eighteen long years of bent over walking, unable to straighten up at all. Eighteen years of staring at the ground. Eighteen years of non-stop suffering.
I wonder if we would have still held out hope at that point, or would we have considered ourselves a lost cause? Would we have simply accepted that we would never be healed, never experience freedom? Would we have even bothered to position ourselves in a situation ripe for deliverance? Would we have presented ourselves to Jesus, in hopes that He might do for us what we had heard He’d done for others?
I hope we would. We know she did.
The scriptures don’t elude as to how she came to be at the synagogue that day. What we do know is that she was exactly where she needed to be at exactly the right time. Present with Jesus, the only One who could help her. Hopeful, maybe even giddy, at the prospect of leaving there a free woman. And God did not disappoint.
She made her way into the synagogue. Was she near the front of the crowd, or did she remain hidden in the back? Was she struggling to lift her head, determined to capture a glimpse of His face? Was she able to make eye contact with Him? We are unaware of such details, but whatever the case, it doesn’t appear she made a scene or called attention to herself. She was simply there – in the presence of Christ. And He took notice of her.
When Jesus saw her, he called out to her, “Woman, you are free of your disability.” Then he laid his hands on her and instantly she was restored and began to glorify God. (Luke 13:12-13)
He saw her.
He called out to her.
He freed her.
He laid His hands on her, fully restoring her.
In that instant, the chains of bondage she had carried so long suddenly fell from her. As she had hoped, she left there a free woman. She left there glorifying God.
Friend, you and I are this woman.
We, too, become heavily burdened by all that Satan places upon us. So much so that there are many days we simply cannot stand without help. Crippled beneath the weight. Unable to free ourselves. Hopeless in our own strength and ability. In need of a fresh encounter with God.
If that’s where you are today, sweet sister, please know you are not alone. You are seen by Him. He is calling to you. He desires to release you from bondage – to loosen Satan’s grip on you. To restore you to that place of freedom and peace. To restore you to Himself.
Make yourself available to Him (find a quiet place). Seek Him out (bow your head; ask Him to meet you there). Stand in His presence (open your Bible, read scripture, talk to Him). Sit at His feet (listen for His response — and keep listening for it in the days to come).
He will not disappoint.