Letting Christ Straighten Up Our Life

I sat with her in her living room as she talked about her life. Somehow she managed to keep her frail body upright in the chair. A small plastic tube by her nose fed her oxygen as she spoke with a raspy voice. I could sense the bitterness as she told me about past injustices done to her from decades ago. Over the years I had known this aged woman it seemed the grip of bitterness had only grown tighter on her life. It seemed to cripple her to the point where she was hunched over, eyes pointed toward the floor. I longed to free her from the bondage of unforgiveness with the loving touch of Jesus Christ, but she would have nothing to do with it.

Days later I came across Luke 13:10-17 where Jesus healed a woman crippled “by a spirit for eighteen years.” Toward the end of the passage Jesus remarked that she had been kept bound all those years by Satan. What is interesting about this passage is that the woman does not seek healing from Jesus. She was there in the synagogue listening to Jesus teach and he called her forward. Jesus told the woman, “you are set free from your infirmity.” He placed his hands on her and then she, immediately “straightened up and praised God.”

It reminded me of my aged friend I visited a few days earlier and how she chose to let Satan hold her in the grip of bitterness — choosing to let past injustices keep her bent over and unable to straighten up. She was emotionally and now physically crippled, refusing to even enter a church to hear the teaching of Christ. She refused to hear Jesus call her forward so he could touch her with his grace and release her from the grip of Satan. She chose to remain hunched over in bitterness instead of letting Jesus set her free from the grip of Satan.

In this life we are often struck by emotional and physical events that can cripple us for years. Satan wants to bind us with these infirmities so that we remain crippled, hunched over with our eyes to the ground so we are unable to stand and raise our hands to praise and worship God. Jesus calls us forward to touch our lives, but the grip of the injustices of this life hold us back from receiving his freedom. Instead we listen to those, like the synagogue leader in this passage, who don’t want us to receive Jesus Christ and his healing touch. We remain hunched over in bitterness with eyes pointed to the ground instead of Jesus.

#ThrowbackThursday — This post originally published March 10, 2017.

© 2017 CGThelen

12 thoughts on “Letting Christ Straighten Up Our Life

  1. This makes me remember my grandmother. She passed in 2011. She professed a belief in Jesus, but there were so many hurts she held onto. I know how easily I could go that route myself. Every day is a prayerful exercise to walk free of my past. Grateful for the strength He provides me to do so. Thankfully, God opened that door for you to be there for her. Every chance to plant a seed is important. Blessings!

    1. It is so hard to let go of past hurts. Some are so deep and painful. It is so easy to linger in the hurt, but you provide good advice of prayerfully exercising to free ourselves from our past. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. May Christ strengthen you today. Blessings.

  2. As I deal with the elderly several times a week in nursing home outreach I thought I would share a different perspective. The very fact that this lady chose to talk shows that she trusts you and that she wishes she knew how to deal with her past. Infirmity has left her no longer in control of a lot of things which magnifies the past hurts she is dealing with. It is never easy to know the right thing to say but I find that usually there is a way to plant at least one seed of hope and leave the relationship door open. There are so many just like her who have no one willing to listen. Blessings and thanks for sharing.

    1. That is such great advice. She taught me so much about loving difficult people. You are spot on that her willingness to talk did show she trusted me. Over the six years I visited her after her husband died, I learned to plant seeds, following her lead as to what she was open to talking about. As you say, it was the relationship that left her door open to me. I also learned to follow God’s lead, the prompting of the Spirit. I was able to be there with her a few hours before she died which was such a blessing. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. May God strengthen you as you minister to hurting people. Blessings.

      1. Oh thanks for sharing the rest of the story! (As Paul Harvey used to say). God bless you also. Sounds like there is a calling in your life as well. Have a wonderful week.

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