He wouldn’t budge!

At 18 months, I could not get my son Parker buckled in his car seat one night after church.

Problem #1

He didn’t want in the car seat.

Problem #2

Evidently, he was stronger than me.

As I tried to buckle the 5-point harness, he stiffened his body and stretched so I could not get him in. I must have tried for five minutes. In tears and frustration, I finally forced him down into the seat and quickly buckled him in.

Stubborn hardly describes that moment. He did not want to be constrained so he revolted.

I’m a little headstrong too. He just might have gotten that from me.

Stretch out your hand

Jesus had a run-in with a bunch of stubborn people as well. His mission was to bring people to God and offer them life to the fullest, no matter the day of the week.

The Pharisees had a real hang-up with Jesus doing good on the Sabbath. They were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus so they watched him in the synagogue to see if he would heal on the Sabbath.

On one occasion, Jesus encountered a man with a shriveled hand. Knowing he was being watched, Jesus instructed the man to stand up in front of the people. Upon questioning the Pharisees whether it was lawful to do good or evil, to save a life or kill on the Sabbath, the Pharisees stubbornly remained silent.

Here’s how Jesus responded.

He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Mark 3:5 (NIV)

If the Pharisees had only looked beyond their rules and regulations, maybe they would have seen the glory of God.

The injured man did.

The people did.

But the Pharisees missed it and left with a mission to kill.

What’s your story?

Are you holding on to something that’s not healthy for you?

Maybe it’s a

  • Habit that needs to go
  • A sin or injustice that needs to be forgiven
  • An unwarranted fear or criticism
  • A way of thinking
  • A worry that you just can’t let go
  • Bitterness you’re holding on to

Wouldn’t you rather release it and see the Lord perform a work in your life? In theory, I know I would. In action, however, I struggle.

Let’s be like the man with the shriveled hand. Let’s stretch out our hands and allow Jesus to restore and heal.