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Meditation Bowed Down

By Rev Angela C Bosfield Palacious

In the story of the woman bent double, we learn that her 18-year condition is treatable, that Jesus is her healer and that praising God is the only response: "On the Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God."

This is a physical condition, but let us consider what other burdens have us bent double:

  1. The death of a loved one that brings inconsolable grief

  2. Overwhelming debt, job loss, and financial insecurity

  3. Domestic violence, rape, incest, and abuse of every kind

  4. Other types of sickness that are debilitating or terminal

  5. Unexpected or unwanted divorce that crushes dreams of lifelong relationship

  6. Addictions and other forces that control a person's body, mind and spirit

  7. Anything else that feels that it is life-threatening, mentally cruel or spiritual warfare.

We would expect that everyone would be so overjoyed to see the miracle of her healing, but it is not so: "Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath. The Lord answered him, 'You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?' When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing."

How sensitive are we to the needs of others? How compassionate are we to what God is doing in their lives? Are we willing to bring people to Christ with our example and witness? Are we working to restore others to some degree of wholeness with our prayers and support?

There are those whose self-esteem is badly damaged and they need to know that:

  1. They are God's beloved children and cherished.

  2. They are redeemed by a suffering Saviour and anointed for service

  3. They are able to find a loving community in the church

  4. They have an eternal home with God waiting for them even as they enjoy the presence of God here and now.

Our final position is to be bowed down in grateful thanks and praise as we worship our heavenly Father, our Redeemer and Sanctifier. Once we are set free to stand upright in victory, we can willingly bow down humbly.

• Rev Angela Palacious, a motivational speaker and author of several devotional books, is an Anglican priest. She may be contacted at 393-9000 or by e-mail at angelapalacious@gmail.com.

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