“6 Now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that He entered the synagogue and taught. And a man was there whose right hand was withered …10 And when He had looked around at them all, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.” Luke 6:6, 10 NKJV
Jesus stepped into the place of worship one day and saw a man “whose right hand was withered.” Jesus asked him to stand out in the audience. The man obeyed and his hand was restored. When God puts you on the spotlight, it’s not to embarrass you but to bless you.
We are not sure if this man was born this way or whether something had happened in his life that resulted in this condition. However, despite his state, he still attended ‘church.’ To wither connotes loss of freshness, vigor or vitality. It meant that his right hand was incapacitated. In that culture a man’s right hand symbolized power. We do not know how long he had lived this way but the loss of such a vital organ must have been quite devastating.
To tell a man with a withered hand to stretch it out must have sounded ridiculous to the people. The man could have also wondered, “Which one?” However, though he lacked physical ability to do what he was commanded yet by the exercise of his will he obeyed. Thus, what seemed ridiculous resulted in the miraculous. Little steps of obedience can produce great miracles.
Some of you reading this blog can relate to this man’s circumstance. Yours may not be a physically withered hand but the loss of something that is precious to your life. It could be the loss of a job opportunity, relationship, or business. It may be buried talent, dormant gift or skills that have atrophied due to disuse. You neither have the capacity to use it again nor the confidence to believe that it can still work.
Yet, for others it may be a withered dream. There was a time when you were bustling about with life because of a dream that gave you hope but successive disappointments have now taken zest out of your life.
Stretch means extension to, or beyond the ordinary limit. The average person is averse to stretching, the default mode is to shrink back. Often, people allow past failures to define them and set a limit to their aspiration. Whenever they are prompted to take a radical step, fear fills their hearts with a thousand “what ifs.” But God still says STRETCH OUT!
If you have come to your wit’s end, if you have reached the end of what you can do, then you need God’s supernatural intervention. God wants to empower what seems to be dead in your life; He wants to restore whatever has withered.
It does not matter where you are now or what circumstances have dealt you, the instruction for 2014 is: Rise up! Stand forth! Stretch out! Take the limits off of God. As you stretch out, God’s power will meet you and cause that which is ‘dry’ to ‘flourish’ again. (see Eze. 17:24).