Handicapped from birth. He hid the withered hand in his sleeve. But people knew. They could tell the way it hung at his side in the town square, and the Pharisees had spotted him in the marketplace earlier that day. And they enticed him to enter the synagogue. It was all a trap for Christ.
Would Christ see him and heal him on the Sabbath? They weren’t sure. But the man with the withered hand stood in the synagogue with sunlight filtering through the window, with dust particles glistening and wafting through the beam of light as Christ entered the synagogue. The Pharisees snapped their heads around to watch. And Christ approached the man and said, “Stretch out your hand" (Luke 6:10).
Some of the Pharisees chuckled. “Does he not know the man has never stretched out his hand?” They considered this so-called messiah to be unlearned and a little stupid. Anyone could see this man had no power to perform the command.
But, to their surprise, the man stretched it out. He did the one thing he hadn’t been able to do his entire life. In obedience, the man used his will to the command of Christ and discovered the power he needed.
Maybe you need power to overcome addiction. Maybe you need power to overcome weight gain. Maybe you need power to overcome a prolonged illness. Maybe you need power in your marriage. Maybe you need power to face stress at your job.
Christ comes to you today and says, “Stretch out the impossible.”
G. Campbell Morgan once wrote about the man with the withered hand, “The moment that surrender is made, power is communicated, and the whole spiritual life is changed. The moment you obey he makes over to you the resources of your power.”
Stretch out your faith and stand against your addiction, against your problems, against your weakness, against the impossible. Let obedience strengthen your resolve and Christ will give you the power you need to overcome. It has nothing to do with your own power. You are powerless against the odds. But if you make a move toward Christ today, if you stretch out your faith, if you do the right thing once, then do it again--little by little--you will “find his strength made perfect in weakness, and the thing you could not do you will be able to do through him who strengthens you.”
George Macdonald represents God as saying to us, "You must be strong with my strength and blessed with my blessedness, for I have no other to give you."