Mark 3:5

“And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.”

The story of the man with the withered hand always gets to me. I believe it speaks of the spiritual atmosphere we find ourselves in. Sometimes things just dry up and we lose the ability to help ourselves. Your faith withers, prayers cease and you even lose your joy. Again what a story for us! Without the power of God in our lives on a daily basis we will find ourselves in a hopeless world! Christ needs to come breathe life into the dead soul.

Matthew Henry says; “He commands us to stretch forth our hands, to improve our natural powers, and do as well as we can; to stretch them out in prayer to God, to stretch them out to lay hold on Christ by faith, to stretch them out in holy endeavors. Now this man could not stretch forth his withered hand of himself, any more than the impotent man could arise and carry his bed, or Lazarus come forth out of his grave; yet Christ bid him do it. God’s commands to us to do the duty which of ourselves we are not able to do are no more absurd or unjust, than this command to the man with the withered hand, to stretch it forth; for with the command, there is a promise of grace which is given by the word.”

Did you hear that? With the command there is the promise of grace! He enables us to reach forth, stretch out and grab a hold on the anchor that will save our soul! Lord I believe, help my unbelief!

What is it that you have found yourself backing away from? Are you weary, discouraged or offended? Tired of reaching out the hand of faith? Lets read what McClaren say’s about that;

“But let us not miss the parable of the restoration of the maimed and shrunken powers of the soul, which the manner of the miracle gives. Whatever we try to do because Jesus bids us, He will give us strength to do, however impossible to our unaided powers it is. In the act of stretching out the hand, ability to stretch it forth is bestowed, power returns to atrophied muscles, stiffened joints are suppled, the blood runs in full measure through the veins. So it is ever. Power to obey attends on the desire and effort to obey.”