When we look deeper into the story of the woman with the bleeding disorder from Mark 5:25:34 the story continues with more thought.
Yes, we find this woman who has been in such pain. We find her reaching out to Jesus and we see healing brought to her. But there is more.
As her problems began, as she called out to God, it was twelve years before healing came. Twelve years.
First, I think healing can come in many different ways. Healing is always not necessarily the way we want it to be. Sometimes healing is not on the outside, but within. Sometimes healing comes from just trust.
This woman was hurting, and don't you know she was discouraged? Maybe she wasn't, maybe she was just a strong woman of faith and knew without a doubt she would be healed. But just maybe she was like you and I. Maybe she questioned her faith. Maybe she questioned herself. Maybe she wondered if God heard her prayers. Maybe she thought, "Is He ever going to bring healing?"
I think there is a reason for the long period in which she was healed. She was not healed over night. Although Jesus can heal us right then and there, sometimes that is not His will for whatever reason there is to bring glory and honor to Himself.
When we are going through something so horrific as she did, we cry out to God for help. We seem to want all the answers right then, and we want our prayer answered according to our wishes. But God has bigger plans and a much bigger purpose than you or I can understand.
Sometimes He calls us to wait. Sometimes He calls us to be still. And He calls us to pray without ceasing. All three of these will bring peace, comfort and growth in our faith. Even if we take a few steps back, God is still there. I think He expected us to waver. I think He knows we question Him. He knows I do.
I have seen His healing. I have been healed from Him. As a few years back when I had a huge lump in my neck, I went in for surgery. To be honest, I was not the only one scared. My doctors were sure it was something. But as I went in for surgery, they marked my neck with an X where the lump was. After we had waited, my Pastor had come in to pray, and then our Youth Pastor. As my husband kissed me as they wheeled me away I was falling into a sleep. As we entered the surgery room, the nurses were feeling my neck, then asking me, "Honey, where is your lump?" As I sat up and felt, it was gone! No where to be seen or felt. The doctor came in and nothing was there. Praise Jesus! But through those prayers, He indeed had a bigger plan. That big lump that was there brought them to understand and discover my thyroid was growing in size. I had nodules growing on it, and it was serious. Usually a goiter grows outward. Mine grew inward. It was growing around my windpipe. I would not have known this in time if not for that lump. Even though I didn't understand, even though I was fearful, God had a bigger plan. And for now, I am blessed to share all He has done in my life.
There are things He has not chosen to heal in the way I would wish, but through those difficulties, other blessings have come that I would have never been washed with if not for the first.
So, see, even though we are to be still and wait, God is at work in us and around us. Those folks who knew this woman, those who saw her suffer, and those who passed by her not giving her any love or encouragement saw God move in a big way. They saw this woman's faith indeed as she reached out to God.
I had been sitting in a waiting room also a few years back as my mammogram came back bad. At least it showed an abnormality. As I sat, I had prayed for two weeks prior for everything to be good. But there was a woman sitting next to me that had no hair and her test did not come out as she wished. I sat there in all honesty terrified, but as I prayed, I shared with the Lord, "No matter what this test shows I will praise Your name. I will not lose faith and I will honor You." The Lord filled me with a peace I had not known, but in my heart I knew no matter what things were going as He planned. As the nurse came to get me to read my results to me, she said, "You are all good honey." I began crying. She didn't understand my tears. But I shared with her, "God is good no matter what the test says."
No matter what comes Jesus is here with us. Jesus doesn't give us sickness and disease. The sin of this world does. But even in the midst of this world God uses all to bring glory to His name.
Maybe healing is coming to you today in ways you never expected. Maybe you are still praying for healing. God will restore us either here on this earth or in heaven. His love is with us, and in that love we can find peace and healing to carry us through anything.
Just as we look at this woman with such faith, we too can have a faith to move mountains. We can be still with God's strength and grace. We can find purpose and meaning for our lives in His word. Through prayer we can share our hearts with Him, be real with Him, and open our lives to others to see Him clearly.
We teach our children to be still and quiet and we too must learn this with all circumstances around us. When we are still we can hear Him perfectly as He moves through us perfectly.
Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
Whatever is in your life today, remember the woman who waited twelve years. See her faith and how it carried her through those still times. As her life now shines before others to see our Mighty God, yours and mine will also.