Luke 13:10-13: “On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 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.”
Ya’ll this woman had been crippled for 18 years and with the touch of Jesus, she was immediately healed. WooooHoooo, that’s my Jesus right there. Boom! I will do the impossible for you! I will change in an instant what you could not change for 18 years! Now where is our focus on this story? The miracle right? We focus on the miracle.
But I want you to focus on something else. I’ll read the scripture again, let’s not focus on the miracle, let’s focus on what led to the miracle. If you need a miracle in your life, learn from this woman’s miracle and see exactly what brought her to it. Here it is, what will bring you to your miracle:
“On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 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.”
What led to the miracle? We all say her infirmity. Her problem. She was crippled for 18 years. But if that’s where our focus is, we’re missing the application for our life today. This isn’t about what’s wrong with you. This isn’t about what happened to you. This isn’t about your need. This isn’t about what you can’t do … this is about what you CAN do.
Here’s what we’ve been missing in this miraculous story of healing. This poor, crippled, bent over woman, GOT UP AND WENT that day. She showed up. In order for her to be at the synagogue where Jesus was teaching, she first had to get up and go there.
I bet she didn’t feel like getting up that day. I bet she was aching and hurting. I bet she was even embarrassed by her condition. BUT SHE GOT UP ANY WAY.
That’s exactly what we need to do. We can’t sit around waiting for Jesus to come knocking on our door with our miracle. You have a responsibility in your story. Your responsibility is to get up and position yourself. Do what you can with what you have right now. Stop focusing on what you can’t do, and girl, do what you can do.
This woman got up and went even when she didn’t feel like it. Even when it was HARD FOR HER. Even when it had been hard for her for 18 years! Ahhhhh, sister will you bring your 18 year hardship, your 18 year struggle to an encounter with Jesus? Or will you give up thinking your miracle will never come? Have you bought into the lie that it will always be this way? Hey, nothing ever stays the same, all things are forever changing, so why can’t you believe your hardship could change too? Oh it could! One encounter with Jesus could radically change your life but you must position yourself for the encounter.
But may I take you even deeper? Can I take you deeper this morning?
There’s one more thing we may be missing in this story. How did this crippled woman make herself get up and go even when she didn’t feel like it? How do you make yourself do what you know you need to do when you plain ol’ don’t feel like it?
Well, my friend TD Jakes pointed this out to me and I share it with you this morning. What you don’t see in this story is what made this woman get up and show up for her encounter with Jesus was she had been THINKING. Yes, she had been thinking. And it was her THOUGHTS that brought her to the synagogue that day where she met Jesus and she received her miracle.
WHAT YOU THINK DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Your thoughts are the seeds, your actions are the plants, and your results are the harvest. You get a harvest because you grew some plants and those plants first began as seed. Your results today are because of your actions. Your actions first began as thoughts.
Your thoughts today will grow something … will you be pleased with that harvest?
What if this woman would have THOUGHT she was too sick or tired to go to church that day? Ahhh, she would have missed her miracle.
I wonder how many times she had been to this place before? How many times had she gone bent over, then walked back home bent over? How many times had she struggled though her day and came to the end of the day no better, with no change? Likely a lot. Likely 18 years. If she would have been thinking “well, what’s the point of even going there today, it’s never done anything for me” what would have happened? NOTHING would have happened because she wouldn’t have even been in the position to encounter Jesus.
Does it feel like nothing is happening in your life? Nothing has ever changed and therefore nothing will ever change? That must have been how this woman felt too. But she had been thinking. She had been thinking, “I’m gonna get up and go even if I don’t feel like it. I’m gonna see what I can do. I’m gonna go even if people look at me. I’m gonna walk in there all crippled like even if people talk about me. I’m gonna get myself there. I’m gonna get up.”
And it was her THINKING that led to her ACTION. It was her ACTION that led to her ENCOUNTER. It was her encounter that led to her MIRACLE.
We all want the miracle. God please save my marriage. God please change my child. God please heal my body. God please bring that job. God please just hand deliver it all to me as I sit right here on my couch because I really don’t feel like getting up. God, you’re gonna have to bring it to me because I gave up on showing up.
Woman, STRAIGHTEN UP. You can’t get the miracle without the encounter. You can’t get the encounter without the action. And you’ll never take the action without first THINKING.
What are you thinking today?
Do your thoughts align with your doubts or your faith? Are you focused on what you CAN do or what you can’t do?
Straighten up. You’ve felt sorry for yourself too long. You’ve been letting people run over you too long. You’ve been wallowing in this too long. You’ve been worried about this too long. Straighten up. In the words of Jesus, “woman you are set free.”
Start thinking like it. Start talking like it. Start acting like it.