Sunday, January 8, 2012

Look Up!

Have you ever been doubled over with pain?  Bent completely to the ground, and unable to look up?

Imagine being “bowed together” . . . FOR 18 YEARS.

That was the state of a crippled woman Jesus met in a synagogue one Sabbath.

She was completely bent over, unable to stand up straight.
And this “spirit of infirmity” was hers for 18 years.

Imagine your “world” being only the ground in front of you. 
For 18 years.
(Think back 18 years ago.  That was 1994.  Where were you?)

She came to the synagogue one Sabbath to hear Jesus’ teaching.
She was alone in her bent-over, earth-focused life.  But to hear His voice and His straightforward teaching – unlike any she had heard before – was enough for her.
The thought never crossed her mind to ask for healing.

But Jesus saw her.
Nobody told Him she had been bowed together in spirit and body for 18 years.
Nobody brought her to Him to ask for healing.
She didn’t want to be noticed.
She was just there. . .bound with this infirmity.

And Jesus saw her.

Then, He called her to come.
He didn’t tell her to try to stand up straight.
He just called her to Himself . . . as she was.

Painfully and with a hint of shame, she made her way to His side.

Kindly, He spoke to her.
Words of healing:  “You are loosed from your infirmity.”
Like a prisoner in chains who is suddenly given freedom . . . she was set free.
Loosened from her infirmity.

But He didn’t expect her to “straighten herself up.”

He touched her.
And, immediately, she was MADE straight.

Suddenly, her eyes left that one spot on the ground where they could always and only look.
She stood straight, and looked into the eyes of the One who had done a work she never imagined possible. 
A healing work. 
An act of kindness, moved by compassion. 
The people nearby rejoiced, because this was part of all the “glorious things that were done by Him.”

He changed her.
No longer was life tied to the fact she couldn’t stand up straight. 
She had been given hope. 
She could now look into the eyes of her loved ones.
She could move freely to minister to them, to others, and for the Lord Himself.

She could now lift her eyes to the heavens.

This woman wasn’t created to be “bowed together” with her face and her spirit to the ground.

None of us were.

In fact, the Greek word for “man” (“anthropos”) means:  the “uplooking one.”

We were created as beings who stand upright.
Made with the capacity to look up.

To be able to look up, means . . . . we are the ones with HOPE.

He has:
Seen each of us.
Called us to Himself.
Spoken healing words to us.
Touched us with truth and with life.
Changed us.

There’s no reason to be “bowed together” with our faces to the ground.
He has done numerous, “glorious things” in our lives.

No matter our circumstances, we were all created to. . . Look up.

(Click here to listen to "Women Healed on the Sabbath")

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bethany,

    I'm stopping by from Kimberly Rae's fb link.

    Thanks for this reminder of "all the glorious things that were done by Him!"

    I too am a follower of Ann Voskamp's blog.

    Jennifer Dougan