Her Eighteenth Birthday

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 5
It was Alice's eighteenth birthday. Several presents had been given her and she took delight in looking them over again one by one, so time slipped away and it was late when she went upstairs to prepare for the meeting. She was sorry to be late on her birthday, but when she caught sight of the town clock, it was already ten minutes past eleven.
Very quietly she opened the door of the meeting room and determined to wait till they should sing before she went in. A passage from the Scripture was being read; and, as she stood within the door, closing it noiselessly, the first words she heard were, "Ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?" Luke 13:1616And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? (Luke 13:16).
The Holy Spirit sent those words of the Savior right home to the heart of that young girl standing at the door. "Whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years," she said to herself; "that is me. I am eighteen today, and I know that I am not serving God, and they say that if I am not, I must be serving Satan. If that's true, I am his slave."
She heard little that morning except these words. She saw that she had spent all her life-all those eighteen years, in which God had given her health and comfort and countless other blessings -in forgetfulness of Him. She remembered that He had often called her, and she had as often refused to listen. Yes, she saw it all now; she had been bound by Satan for eighteen years. She was bound still. How could she be "loosed"?
The meeting ended, and Alice returned home. Still those words filled her mind. She went to her room, but not now to spend her time at the mirror, or looking at her presents. Now she was on her knees before God. Earnestly she prayed: "Lord, I am bound—I'm all wrong—oh, show me what to do!"
Even as she prayed a ray of light from God's Word shone into her soul: "Ought not this woman... to be loosed?"
"That woman was loosed," she said to herself; "oh, that I might be!" God's light shone into her repentant heart, showing her that though she was a captive to sin—bound by sin for eighteen years—yet One "mighty to save" had come "to preach deliverance to the captives... to set at liberty them that are bruised." Luke 4:1818The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, (Luke 4:18).
When Jesus was on earth, He said to that poor woman, "Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity." Luke 13:1212And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. (Luke 13:12). He laid His hands on her and she was made straight, and glorified God.
How very simple and natural it all was, Alice thought; and why should He not do the same for her, and even more, now that He was in heaven? So right there and then she put her trust in Him. And though she had been bound by Satan for eighteen years, she too, was loosed that very day.
Can you imagine her joy when she realized that she was really free? The Lord Himself had said, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." The Lord Jesus is the only One who can loose those chains that bind us, and He is waiting to do so for all who will come to Him and own that they are sinners and accept Him as their Savior.