He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and
said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and
his hand was restored.
In this passage, Mark 3:1-6, Jesus is in a synagogue on the Sabbath. A group of Pharisees is also there, waiting to see if Jesus is going to heal a man on the sabbath day because it was against their laws.
While I wanted you to know the background, this isn’t the point I am trying to make. In this story, Jesus heals a man with a withered hand. When we study the different instances when Jesus heals someone, He often uses the word stretch. Reading this has brought back a ton of memories of the many times Jesus has worked both in and through my life.
When something is stretched, it’s taken out of its comfort zone, so to speak. It is pushed to the limits of how far it can go without breaking. Too often, as Christians, we are begging Jesus to do something in our lives, as long too much isn’t required on our behalf. For instance, we want someone in our lives to meet Jesus for the first time, but someone else needs to do the introducing. The topic is uncomfortable and we don’t want to be put in an awkward position.
Maybe there’s someone in our life that is going through a difficult season and they are in financial turmoil. We continually ask Jesus to do something about the situation, but we aren’t wanting to give anything other than prayer to the cause. We can’t help them pay some of their bills because our own finances will be stretched too far.
Jesus loves performing miracles and making the impossible happen. That being said, there has to be a certain level of faith on our part. Faith is an action word. We have to be willing to stretch. We have to be willing to push ourselves to the point where any more effort would cause a break. Often, only when we are willing to stretch as far as we possibly can will Jesus relieve the pressure we are experiencing.