She heard His voice but couldn’t see Him clearly. The surrounding crowds had blocked her view.
Bent over at the waist and unable to stand up straight, she strained to get a good glimpse of Him. Then, unexpectedly, He’d called her forward.
I imagine her heart was racing as she slowly shuffled her way to the front of the synagogue.
Why would Jesus single her out of the crowd? Was He going to make a spectacle of her brokenness? Or expose her deepest pain and darkest secrets?
As the crowds around her murmured, each step toward Jesus felt as if she were lugging the weight of the world behind her.
For 18 years, her body had been crippled. Eighteen long, exhausting years.
She certainly had plenty of reasons not to go to the synagogue that Sabbath morning. Why subject herself to the possible harsh stares and hurtful comments? Yet she was there, listening intently to the teachings of Jesus.
She didn’t say a word. She didn’t try to get His attention. She simply stood in His presence, soaking in the life-giving statements that gave her hope in the midst of her hopeless situation.
But Jesus saw her. Jesus had compassion for her. Jesus loved and wanted to heal her. And in one swift statement, those 18 long, exhausting years came to a screeching halt …
Click here to keep reading and find out what happened to the woman in this story. You might be surprised to discover that you have some things in common with her. (@Proverbs 31 – Encouragement For Today.)
So, maybe you’ve stopped by because I offered to pray for you today (through E.F.T.). Maybe you’re like me and the idea of someone else sharing a tiny portion of your burden for a few minutes lifts a heavy load off your shoulders.
I’m just going to say it for both of us: Life is hard. Life is messy. Life’s experts don’t always have the right answers to our questions or solutions to our problems.
I’ve been doing a little survey lately – asking friends and family members if life is better than they expected right now or if they’re facing some hard circumstances that are rocking their world and ya know what? They all admitted (quickly) to a season of hardship. We’re not talking small, insignificant struggles. We’re talking big deal stuff.
It would be easier to understand if they were reaping the consequences of really bad choices from the past, but they’re not. Each person has had a vibrant relationship with God for a very long time. They know God’s Word. They worship Him with praise. They are real prayer warriors.
And, yet, they struggle. A broken marriage. A teenage son in rebellion. Harassment at work from a co-worker. A daughter diagnosed with cancer. An unexpected surgery with complications. A financial fallout. A lost job. An undiagnosed illness. A friendship betrayal. The list goes on and one …
Maybe you’re facing something similar or you’ve read the story in Luke 13 about the woman who lived bent over for 18 long years and can identify with her pain.
I believe Jesus felt her pain the moment He laid eyes on her. I also believe Jesus feels your pain and sees your heartache too.
You may not have all the answers to your problems, but Jesus does.
You may wane and wonder if things will ever get better, but God is certain His plans for your future are good.
You may question why God has allowed this season of struggle into your life (or your loved ones’ life), but He already knows how it will ultimately work out for your good and bring Him glory.
The question is not will God come through for us. The question is whether or not we will really trust Him in the process as we wait for our breakthrough. Will we allow the hard times to weigh heavy on us or will we choose to lean heavily on Jesus in the hard times?
Sure, my struggles are difficult just like yours, but you know what gives me great hope and assurance? Looking back on past seasons of struggle and hardships (and there have been plenty of them) and seeing God’s faithfulness. At times when I felt alone, He was there and never left my side. When others didn’t quite know what to say I could always find encouragement in His Word. Looking back now I can see how God used my past struggles to strengthen my faith in Him.
At times when I felt alone, He was there and never left my side. When others didn’t quite know what to say I could always find encouragement in His Word.
If you’re still reading this, my guess is that you’re going through a rough patch or facing some difficult challenges right now. I’d love to pray for you today. Let’s lay our requests before to the LORD and trust that He will respond on our behalf. God is our Healer. Our Comforter. Our Provider. Our Shelter and Refuge.
Friend, God sees you and loves you. He will never turn His back on you or abandon you. He knows the worries that keep you up at night and the doubts that hold you back most days. He has all the answers. He has the power to take your negative circumstances and reshape them for His glory.
Here’s something I want you to remember: You are never lost in the crowd or overlooked because you have captivated Jesus’ heart and His gaze is always fixed on you. So cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you.
Note: How can I be praying for you today? Do you have a prayer request? Leave it in the comment section below. If the details are too personal and you’re unable to share them that’s totally fine. You can just write “unspoken prayer request” with your name and/or the person you’d like me to pray for. God knows the details and has the answers … that’s all that really matters.