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Stretch Out and Be Healed (9 of 12)

Mike Connell

Page 2 of 5
So this man, his hand had withered. Often is the case when a man’s hand withers up, it begins to withdraw and turn inward. So when you find someone like this, often the hand is dried and turned in, and it turns right in – the man tried to hide it. No one wants to walk around like this. That’s awful. If someone’s got a problem like that, there are a number of problems that come with it.

First, is incredible shame. You know, no one wants to hold. You got to hide it. So there’s a shame and a tendency to conceal what is withered. Whatever we’re ashamed of, we have no power with. Whatever we have no power with, we feel ashamed of. When Adam and Eve sinned and they were ashamed, they covered over.

So any area of our life which has become withered, when something has gone wrong, we withdraw and hide it. This is true of people everywhere. When things have gone wrong in our life, when something is not working right, we tend to cover it and hide it. We tend to conceal it. The last thing you want is someone to point it out to you.

So this man had a withered hand and notice first of all, he’s got a physical condition. In the Bible, when the Bible speaks about the right hand, always in the Bible these things are symbolic of something. So, the right hand in the Bible was the hand of blessing. The right hand was the hand of power. The right hand is the hand you work with .

So when it says his right hand was withered, it means no blessing flowing around his life, no power in his life. So the right hand being withered is a picture for a person whose life is withered. If there’s no life, there’s no blessing. It’s actually cursed. Demonic spirits are operating and that person can’t work. He can’t produce in life what he could do. His potential is greatly limited. So when the man had the withered hand, there’s no blessing, no life, and he’s unable to fulfil his potential. There is a limit on what he can accomplish with his life.

When you think of the hand, you think of work. Imagine trying to work with only one hand. How do you manage your computer? It’s very hard if you’ve got a withered hand. It doesn’t operate. So his life was greatly restricted and limited because of the problem he had.

Not only that, the right hand in the Bible is often a picture of ministry – the ministry to people. So this picture of the withered hand is also a picture of people’s ministry withered away. So we see three different aspects:

Firstly a man with a physical problem – he’s in a condition that needs healing and restoration. In the story, we see the heart of God to heal him.

Secondly, it’s a picture of a life that’s not blessed – a life that is withered, a life that is cursed. It’s a picture of a life that’s covered in shame, whose potential is limited.

It’s also a picture of a believer whose ministry has become withered. Once they may have worked very well. Once they served God passionately. Once they were seeing fruit. Once they were accomplishing great things for God. But something happened and now the arm has become withered. No longer are you ministering like you once did. You’ve withdrawn – no life and vibrancy, and have drawn back inside, and is somewhat ashamed of your condition.

Jesus saw this man. His heart went out to him. There are a number of things that can cause our life to become withered. There are many things that cause us to shrivel up and draw back.

Disappointment can cause you to become withered. The Bible says – Sorrow dries the bones. If our heart is broken, there is a withering in our life – no joy, no vibrancy, you tend to draw back. So there are many people from broken homes whose soul is withered. They don’t carry the life and joy. There are problems in their life. So, grief can wither our soul.