The Woman Bowed Together

Luke 13 tells us the story of an amazing, yet unnamed, woman. One day, as Jesus was teaching in the synagogue on the sabbath, a very unique woman arrived. She probably would have blended into the background if it wasn't for one particular trait - she was bowed together.

While some days I feel like I'm bent over at the middle, this woman had suffered for 18 years with this physical ailment. We can't begin to imagine the pain and agony she was in, not being able to move or walk normally for almost two decades. Her back, hips and shoulders must have been on fire with every step she took. There's no denying that she suffered with this evil spirit of infirmity every minute of every day.

But look at where she was. She wasn't at home in bed. She wasn't curled up in a corner holding her own pity party. She wasn't even in the doctor's waiting room, preparing for her next appointment. She was at the synagogue.

More important than her physical pain was getting something good for her soul. She couldn't improve her body on her own, but she determined to be in God's house and with His people. This woman couldn't even lift her head, let alone lift her hands in praise, but there was no question of where she needed to be. She chose to be in the local church for worship.

Where else would she be?

She didn't even come on a mission with an agenda to have Jesus heal her. In verse 12, Luke describes Jesus' reaction to her, not her reaction to Him. No one dropped her through the roof on a bed, or cleared the way so she could touch His robe. She was simply there to feed her soul.

There is no doubt that she would stand out in the crowd, simply because she really couldn't stand at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her to Him. As He was teaching, knowing that she was listening and taking His words to heart, He decided this was the moment to heal her body.

God may have tarried - she had suffered for 18 years - but when the moment came, her healing was complete. He rewarded her endurance and faithfulness with relief. 

With just seven words and a touch of His hand, Jesus Christ gave her immediate healing. Luke the doctor must have been shocked every time his Savior did this, as his writing is filled with awe over the details of each one. It wasn't a gradual cure that would have her cured after a few weeks of medication and therapy. There was no rehab or cane required. She was loosed from the spirit of infirmity immediately and wholly in that moment.

The woman's reaction is the second-best part of the story, after Christ's miracle. She didn't stand upright and run to her house to tell her family. She didn't go down to the local newspaper to have her picture taken. No, she glorified God.

That's it. It was that simple. After 18 years of faithfulness in her suffering, there was nothing else she could do but praise the Lord. There was nowhere else she'd rather be, and there was nothing else she wanted to do but give Him honor and glory for touching her in such a personal way. Jesus Christ had touched her spiritually with His teaching and touched her physically with His healing. What a powerful and life-changing combination.

Luke doesn't write this woman's name, but that's just fine. This way, we can each see ourself in her situation. If you're like me, you have become bowed together about something. It might be a disintegrating relationship, a physical ailment or a financial insecurity. Whatever it is, you're bent out of shape and in terrible pain over it, and it probably doesn't look like relief is just going to drop out of the sky.

Instead of barricading yourself in the house and falling into depression and discouragement, be where you're supposed to be. The enemy wants nothing more than to keep us down and out, keeping us away from the people and places that would strength and encourage us. So by laying out of life, we're playing into his hands and doing his work for him.

And this is how we fight back: we are faithful, we are clinging to God's word and we are joyful regardless of our situation. It's not easy, but it's a great battle plan. The woman who was bowed together went where she was supposed to, learned what she was supposed and waited like he was supposed to. Then the Lord did was He was supposed to and rewarded her for her faith with complete and total healing.

Are you ready to be healed, mind body and soul? Be prepared for the Lord to work a miracle in your life and loose you from that burden.

Don't forget, then, to glorify God for His healing power. He is deserving of all our praise.

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