I find great comfort and hope from the Bible for life’s trials and heartaches. I have had plenty of them. A major source of heartache has been my now twenty-six year old daughter who has struggled with addictions, depression and self harm for over eight years.
10 …. Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 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. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said to her, “Woman, you are set free….” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. (Luke 13:10-13 NIV)
Many of our children have suffered for a long time, too. An addiction, mental illness, self harm, an eating disorder, pornography or some other destructive behavior is crippling them. Things look hopeless.
Notice that the crippled woman didn’t ask Jesus for help. Maybe she lost hope years ago, possibly like you? All we know is when He saw her, His heart was touched by her need and it moved Him to take action. A declaration, “YOU ARE SET FREE!”, then the touch of His hand. Healed and whole. Body and soul. Can you imagine her shock and amazement?
We long for our children to be set free and made whole. Some days our hope drifts away. I remember feeling this way when my daughter relapsed shortly after returning home from her first time in residential rehab. She was a frail 18 year-old and I wondered if she would survive. Since Jesus knew her need and had the power to heal, why was she still suffering? Didn’t He care? It was very difficult to hold on to hope. Her addictions were crippling her. She was powerless to help herself. So was I.
Jesus sees where our sons and daughters are. He knows all about them. He knows their every need – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – including how long they’ve suffered. They may not be asking Him for help, but that won’t stop Him from trying to reach them.
Keep trusting. Jesus is still able, just like during Bible times, to reach out to your child in their helplessness, in their brokenness and deformity, and cause them to hear his voice calling to them. He longs to touch their heart and set them free, if they will just come.
Jesus, our Healer, how we long for our children to hear Your voice. Oh, that today would be the day they choose to come to You for Your healing touch. May they hear You say, “YOU ARE SET FREE!” May they respond like this woman did and never be the same. And may they give thanks and praise to You for the rest of their lives.
In Your powerful name, Amen.
An encouraging book to read is Addict in the Family: Stories of Loss, Hope and Recovery by Beverly Conyers. It is available from Amazon.