“Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.
Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”
His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” – Mark 5:24-34
I am currently soaking up Jesus’ Spirit at the Academy for Spiritual Formation. I come here for a week each quarter to renew my soul and re-connect with God. It is amazing what happens within just a few hours of being in this environment of worship, rest, and complete acceptance. I forget things like “what is going on at home” and “time to post today’s blog” (sorry about yesterday.) I forget these things because I get so caught up in the presence of my Savior, that nothing else really matters. It is my prayer that many of you will make the journey through the Academy at some point in the future. It has been the most transformational experience of my life.
As a church, we are coming to the end of our month of contemplating who we are in Christ. It has been a wonderfully reflective time for me. And, as grace would have it, I have been given an assignment this morning that I would like to share with you. Each day, our faculty gives us assignments for prayer and contemplation for the day. This one fits perfectly with our blog journey as well.
Consider the scripture above. It is well known by most of us, this miracle healing by faith on the part of the woman. But pay close attention to verse 33. She fell at Jesus’ feet and explained her situation to Him. We don’t know exactly what she said, but imagine yourself in her shoes.
Here she is, having been ostracized by her community for 12 years because of a disease she could not control. She could not go to church, or the marketplace, and it was quite possible that she could have been kicked out of her own home for being unclean. Suffering doesn’t begin to describe the life she was living. And she had just committed a crime for touching a pastor physically, and punishment for that was quite severe.
Now she was caught in the act. I would have been fearful too, of what Jesus would say or do. But instead of retribution, He listens to her. And instead of chastising her, He affirms her faith and her healing. Wow! What a gracious Savior we have. What did she say to Him? Was she on her knees groveling and apologizing? Did she see something in His eyes that gave her courage to tell Him of her suffering? Was she praising and thanking Him, with an overflowing explanation of the last 12 years and joy over what had just happened?
We don’t know the answer. Nor do we know what her life was like after this day. But know the heart and love our Savior has for us, I am pretty certain of a couple of things. First, His heart is for me (and you, and her.) He listened, not because He was unaware, but because He wanted her to understand that she was valuable to Him. Second, I know that she took a step toward Him in faith, in her brokeness, but she walked away whole. And her life had to change for the better. It always does when we draw near to Him.
So my assignment for today (and yours) is to consider the following questions:
1. Where are your hurts? Where is the life draining out of you, a little each day?
2. What is the story Jesus wants to hear from you? He cares about you and wants to restore you to wholeness.
3. If you spend some time today talking with Him about your need for healing, what is His response to you?
I am thankful for the opportunity to sit at the feet of the Master, and just soak Him up today. I pray you have the same experience.
Give me the opportunity to rest in Your presence today. Help me to open my heart up to You, as Your beloved child. Give me a trusting spirit, and the ability to be honest with You. For I know You rise with healing in Your wings for me. Help me, Lord, to connect with You, and in that way, to be made whole.
In the name of the Lamb I pray,