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. (Luke 13:11 – 13)
Have you ever felt crippled? I have. Maybe you’re not crippled physically, but emotionally or spiritually you feel paralyzed. Fear, shame, self-doubt, pride, envy, worry, or insecurity all can handicap the child of God. Unfortunately, our crippled state quickly becomes the norm, preventing us from becoming all that God created us to be.
After a while, it may feel impossible to move beyond our paralysis and live confidently as one who has been made whole. The good news contained in Luke 13:11 – 13 is that hope and freedom are possible!
Just as Jesus called the woman forward in this story (Luke 13:12), He invites us to come to Him for healing. But, before we can receive His healing, we need to acknowledge our deformities. So how do we figure out what’s holding us back? A good starting place is to pray like the Psalmist David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me” (Psalm 139:23 – 24).
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you anything that is hindering your walk with God.Then ask yourself, “What am I bending toward?” Often the thing we feel we lack becomes the magnet toward which we bend. We might bow toward people who we believe will love us enough to heal our inner wounds. Or we might twist ourselves in knots groping for the next achievement. We might stoop in the shadows trying to hide because we are crippled by shame.
As the Holy Spirit reveals to us our crippling culprits, we must bring each individual area forward and ask for His healing touch. As we allow the Holy Healer to touch every area of our lives, He is faithful to free us and make us whole. Only then can we rise up and move forward in our journey with God to become the women He intended.
For Your Reflection:
What are some emotions that cripple you and prevent you from soaring in God’s kingdom?