Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stretch out your Hand

(If you were at my church Sunday, you get a free pass not to read today, since you heard this for the Communion Message... unless you just want to hear it all over again.  But you MUST envision me with my hands moving cause you all know this gal cant talk without hands flying....Its the Italian in me)

It doesnt take much for me to ask questions.  Give me a small story in the Bible & my mind is wondering on the back story of it all - the who, what, when, why & how kinda questions.

We've all heard of the story of Jesus healing the man with the shriveled hand on the Sabbath.  Its not a big story, in any of the three gospels that its mentioned in... but I just kept wondering about that man who was healed.  What brought him there - what was he thinking - how was his life changed?

Luke, who was a doctor, is the only one who mentions it was his RIGHT hand that was affected... so was it his dominant hand?  The one he should have used the most, but wasnt able to?  Have you ever had your hand in a sling?  Its hard to even button your own pants, much less make a living in a very physical time... I can only imagine this man's life was hard.

I see him coming into the synagogue with maybe even his hand tucked inside of his robe.... I dont know if thats just my thought process, but I know that when I go into church, I tend to want to hide things that bother me - the things that stand out as "problems"... so I wonder if he felt the same way...

Then he's standing in the crowd & Jesus looks at him & tells him:

"Get up & stand in front of everyone" (Luke 6:8)

Ohhhhh dang.... who likes to stand up in front of everyone?  Especially if you have a problem?

Add in that this man had to know it was the Sabbath, he had to see the Pharisees watching Jesus... & did he know the power Jesus had to heal.... I wonder how uncomfortable this man felt getting put in the middle of this situation?

But Jesus looks around at everyone... then back at the man & tells him four words that will change his life...

"Stretch out your hand" (Luke 6:10)

There was no hesitation on this mans part... I wonder if he realized his need & had immediate faith that Jesus would take care of that need... because next thing we see is this man sticking his hand out & then it was "completely restored".... I love the word restored... made new...what a visual

I can only imagine what this man did afterwards.  Was he showing off that hand to everyone, waving all the way home?  Did he immediately do things he couldnt do before?  Did that hand just get stronger & stronger?  We dont know... but we do know his life was changed.

Then I think of my life... I think of the sins I have - the small ones, the places I mess up... the ones I struggle with my whole life... & I realized that I too get uncomfortable in front of Jesus... I have my own shriveled hand.

But the same words Jesus gave this man are the same words he says to me... & to you...


Because Jesus wants us to reach to Him... to stretch out for Him & his mercies & blessings... that we may have the chance to be completely restored ourselves...

You know what, sometimes is not a bad thing to be uncomfortable in front of God, with all the mess & baggage we carry - because its in those moments that Jesus is working... taking those ugly things & restoring us into a new creation... if only we stretch out our hands to him...


  1. Maybe it's because I had a really GOOD day today (benign!) but when I got to "Stretch out your hand" I just started crying. I think this might be the seed for the Rhyne Family Christmas Poem this year. Very well done - & thanks!

  2. This was such an amazing message, and you did an awesome job with it. Mickey tried to find you after service to let you know how much he appreciated what you had to say, and how you presented it. You have an awesome way of bringing things home my friend... if you hadn't found your niche as a photographer already ( huge smile inserted here!) then I would say you would make a great motivational speaker!!!!! Thanks for the time you take in making each of your messages stick with me!!!

  3. you crack me up with the "ohhhhhh dang" part :D

  4. This was very deep and "straight to the heart". You nailed it, girl! Hey...what did you think of Glee last night? I was so thrilled that it was more about the singing and the dancing than all that other stuff. I thought the music was GREAT!

  5. Well I wrote a poem but it sure isn't a Christmas one! I'll probably post it next week - I'll let you know!


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