“Then he said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ So he stretched it out and it was completely restored.” Matthew 12:13.
We don’t know much about the man in this story except that he had a shriveled hand and was in the synagogue where Jesus entered. We don’t know if he had heard about Jesus and went there, or if he was there daily looking for help. What we do know is that he had challenging circumstances but he continued to stay engaged with life. No doubt this disability created a chasm between him and the common man but instead of feeling sorry for himself he remained hopeful and pursued healing. One of the reasons that Jesus was able to heal him that day was that the man put himself out there. He didn’t stay at home hiding behind locked doors hoping no one bothered him. He laid his emotional and physically challenges aside and stayed connected with others.
In the past, I have certainly been one to ‘hide behind locked doors’ and withdraw due to painful circumstances. It is human nature to occasionally want to unplug, but not for an extended period of time. Restoration and healing is rarely found behind the locked doors of our hearts. It is when we have confidence in God, and the trust in His faithfulness that we take our shriveled circumstances and face life with courage. We determine that He is greater than any pain we face and offer our situation for His healing. The key for the man with the shriveled hand was his willingness to live life fully and stay connected. This man was ‘completely restored’ by Jesus as he stretched out his circumstances and expected healing.
‘Father, give us the same courage of this man so that we may confidently expect healing in the places that we have been brokenhearted. Amen.’