She couldn’t stand up straight and tall. She really, really wanted to. Wanted to more than anything else in the whole world. She asked for healing. Please, God, make me well again.
She believed that He could. That He would.
But He didn’t.
Instead she walked bent over, face toward the ground. Feeling each painful step. In her neck, back, legs. For eighteen years she lived this way.
This is the way things are. This is how they’ll always be.
Maybe she gave up hoping for a miracle. Maybe she got tired of trusting and believing. And maybe she exchanged hope and trust for a lie. A lie that God didn’t care about her. That He cared about others, but not her.
Like the day that she saw Jesus, and He taught at her synagogue, she didn’t ask Him to heal her.
He saw her.
He called her to come to Him.
He said, “… you are freed from your sickness…” (Luke 13: 12 NIV).
After all those years, He set her free. No more pain. No more crippled body. No more crippled anything.
He told her that she was free.
Then He touched her. And instantly, she stood up straight and tall.
The Living Bible describes her response like this: “How she praised God!” (vs. 12).
She got her healing. She got her hope back. I’m happy for her. But the truth is that she didn’t have to lose hope or trust or faith.
We don’t have to lose ours either.
When she thought God didn’t care, He did. When we think God doesn’t care, He does.
He does care.
He does care.
We have to remember this truth: God loves us. God cares. He’ll never stop loving us.
He never stopped loving the crippled woman. He waited to heal her so that His Son could perform the miracle.
Sometimes, He waits to answer our prayers too. But the waiting doesn’t mean that He has stopped caring.
I love how Jesus answered the people who accused Him of breaking Jewish law because He healed someone on the Sabbath.
He said, “…should not this woman…whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years be set free on the Sabbath?” (vs. 16).
Did you notice this phrase? “…eighteen long years….”
Jesus knew exactly how long those eighteen years were to that hurting woman. They did not pass by in a flash. They were long and lean. Difficult. Filled with despair and discouragement.
The long years are always like that.
But be encouraged, sweet girl. God sees us during the long, lean years of waiting. God calls us to come closer to Him as we wait for our prayers to be answered. He speaks to us. His Son has the power and the authority to heal us and to set us free.
One day by His great power and grace, we too will stand straight and tall.