Recently, I have been reading through the Gospel of Mark. About once a week, I take a few minutes of my quite time and read one chapter slowly and thoughtfully – my pen poised to underline anything that catches my heart. This is what I was doing a few mornings ago…
This particular morning, I was feeling harried and busy; the rush of summer activities, changing-at-the-speed-of-light life-stages, and my daughter’s wedding plans that crowd my days were pressing in on me. I could feel them pricking against the backs of my eyes, threatening to spill out as tears.
I have learned, when I am feeling these cares-of-the-world tears threatening to spill, I need to stop, breathe, and take a moment or twenty at the well of the Living Water.
So it was this particular morning, I sat reading. My mind calming and lifting to the ONE who cares for me. My eyes focused on the words at the top of the chapter… Mark 3 Jesus Heals on the Sabbath.
As I read a few more verses, I encountered a story that I’ve seen numerous times before, but, as is the way with the living, breathing Word of God, a verse jumped off of the page and cannonballed straight into my soul. I stopped and stared at it for a few moments, the truth of the words seeping and dripping into my crowded and tired mind.
In Luke 3, verses 1 through 6, Mark tells the story of how Jesus had mercy on a man with a deformed hand.
Regardless of the judgmental scowls on the faces of His enemies, Jesus interacted with the man in need. It was verse 5 that caught and held my attention…
Then He said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand and it was restored. Mark 3:5b NLT
Note that Jesus did not heal the man first and then tell him to hold out his hand. Also note that the man did not argue that he couldn’t hold out his crippled hand because it was deformed.
He simply obeyed with a mesmerizing faith in Jesus. And he was met with healing.
As I read and reread those words, I pondered how this concept applies to me – to us.
Was I willing to hold out those areas of weakness and exhaustion in faith that Jesus would meet me? Would I let Him give me strength to fulfill my mom-responsibilies? Would I trust Him to guide and encourage me as I face the next stage of life? Would I give Him all of my cares and worries about the details of my daughter’s wedding? Would I let Him shoulder the weight of all the numerous life issues that add up and bear down on me?
I decided to hold out my crippled hands. And He met me with healing.
Many times in life, Christ asks us to do something outside of our own capability. When we obey right from our current condition/location, He always meets us with His strength, ability, and wisdom.
Sometimes, that “something outside of our own capability” is simple, yet extremely difficult… like letting go of our adult children and trusting the LORD of the harvest.
Other times it’s something much bigger and complex – something we need to let Him heal, like a broken relationship, an addiction, unforgiveness, or bitterness.
It could be something so terrifying that it is threatening to destroy us – like the pain and loss of unexpectedly losing someone dear to us.
Or perhaps it is the fear of stepping out into a new position in life, ministry, or job.
Whatever it is, sweet friend, will we be willing to hold out our crippled hands?
He will meet us with healing.