As the mother of a child who has struggled with addiction and mental health issues, I find great comfort and hope from the Bible for life’s trials and heartaches. When I read Luke 13:10-17 one day and was touched by Jesus’ compassion and heart for those who suffer. He was so caring and personal. What power there was in his healing words!
This passage tells about the healing of a woman who had been “crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. (Many of our children have been suffering for a long time. They are bent over, crippled. The situation may even look hopeless.) When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. . . ” (v.11-13).
She didn’t even ask him for help. Was that her reason for going to the synagogue that day? All we know is that when Jesus sees her, he knows her need and how long she’d been bound by Satan (v. 16) – and he is moved out of a heart full of compassion to take action. He calls her to himself, lays his hands on her crippled, deformed body and speaks those healing words, “YOU ARE SET FREE!” What healing oil to her body and soul. I can’t imagine what she was thinking or how she must have been feeling.
As parents, we long for our children to be set free. Sometimes we wonder if there is still hope I remember feeling this way after my daughter’s first residential rehab experience when she was still only 19. Would she survive this? Would I get my daughter back alive? Does Jesus see? Does he know? Does he really care? Why is it taking so long? It can be so hard to keep trusting as they become more and more disabled.
I love how he didn’t just speak the words that brought her healing, but he got up close and personal . . . He touched her. I wonder if it had been a long time since anyone cared enough to do that? We tend to pull away from suffering, especially if we don’t understand. It’s scary. Much more so during these times when people probably thought her condition was due to someone’s sin.
Then she straightened up right away and began praising God. The Savior’s healing touch and healing words moved her to worship. She would never be the same.
I believe our Savior sees your sons and daughters where they are right now. He knows all about their past, knows their every need – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. He knows exactly how long they’ve suffered and been bound – addiction, depression, suicidal, bi-polar, self-harm, immorality, trouble with the law, pornography. They may not even be seeking Him.
They could care less, but that doesn’t stop Him or limit His power. He hasn’t forgotten them, so keep trusting. He’s still able to reach them, in their brokenness and deformity. He can open their ears and cause them to hear his voice calling, calling. He can make them brand new.
Oh, how we long for our child to hear their Creator’s voice. Oh, that they would hear and respond. Oh, that Jesus would get close and touch their life in some way. Oh, that He would speak those healing words over your son, over your daughter . . . “YOU ARE SET FREE!” May they hear him today, be healed and begin offering what will be lifelong praises to their Creator!