Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Just One Touch

All is well. She had just spent time with her family. A family she loves. I can imagine her sharing morning coffee with girlfriends while chatting over the town's news. The sun is shining. All is wonderful. She is counting her blessings one by one. How could life be any better? What could possibly happen to change the beauty of today? She has everything a woman could possibly ask for. Until..

She wakes early. There is spotting. Just a little, but enough to alarm her. It isn't time, why is this happening? She doesn't dare call upon the girlfriends she just enjoyed breakfast with. Who could help her on this dreadful morn? She travels into the city and sees a doctor. Nothing. He has no answers for her. She begins to smile and says, "Tomorrow will be a better day". But tomorrow comes.

There is no change. More bleeding. What could possibly be wrong? The days pass and the doctor visits are now taking up every token she has saved. There is no more money to spend and no more specialists to visit. The tears break through her heartache. One week turns to two. Two months turn to two years and pretty soon, twelve lonely years have passed. Can you imagine?

Each day she grows more alone. Although scripture doesn't say, but I can imagine her growing bitter and angry. How could everyone just leave her? There is One who knows just how that feels. He knows the pain of desertion all too well. She must find forgiveness. She must trust the Lord. If she could only have one friend visit her. I can envision her realizing that Jesus is that friend. He hasn't left her. By the sweet grace of God is how she has made it twelve long years.

One day this woman wakes to everything and now no one can be near her. Why? She is unclean. She must live alone. Dine alone. Yes, she must do everything alone. It's been so long since she has felt the touch of another. Laughter seems to have escaped her memory. "Why is this happening to me?", she asks. "Why can't anyone help me?" Everyone knows what is going on in her life. The town has turned their backs upon her. All she wants is to be loved. To be accepted. Life is just existing from one lonely day to the next.

Can you feel her pain? The loneliness that has her captive? Twelve years of bleeding. Something she could have never imagined happening. Doctors have no clue as to why she is not well. No answers. I can imagine she is scared. Scared with no one to talk to. No girlfriends to chat with. No family to pray with. I can imagine her wondering what it would be like to just leave this world. Would anyone even miss her?

One day she hears Jesus is coming to town. The Savior. The Healer. Should she even approach the town? What will they say? They could stone her for her uncleanliness, but would they really do that? Well, why not, they have all but left her to die of this dreaded illness that no one has answers for. But Jesus, He will know. Jesus can heal me.

Yes, this is a woman of faith. A woman who has prayed and yearned for her life back.

She gathers herself and heads for town. She doesn't want to be seen, but how could she miss the chance to see Jesus. Her only answer to healing. To life itself. She takes the chance. She sees Him. It's really Him. He is walking with His disciples. He is surrounded. It looks as if He is in a hurry.

What this woman of faith doesn't know is that Jesus is on His way to Jarius' house. His daughter is ill. She is dying. She is twelve years old. Just a baby. This woman of faith has been in torture for as long as this precious babe has been alive. Jesus is on His way to heal her. Yes, Jesus, the King of kings, is going to heal Jarius' precious child. But He feels something. Someone has touched Him. Not Him, but the hem of His garment.

As soon as this woman of faith touched the tassel of His robe her bleeding stopped. Everything changed.

The crowds have noticed Jesus stop. Jesus asks, "Who touched Me?" Should she walk forward? Should she even make a move or should she run like a wild fire? She stays. She stands. Jesus has felt His power leave Him. The Spirit has brought healing. He knows this woman of faith. Jesus finds her trembling. She falls down before Him. Can you imagine the pain she is feeling? The exhaustion that has held her captive for the last twelve years all gone with one touch.

She declares to Jesus that yes, she is the one who has touched Him. She explains why. She is opening herself up and reaching for the Savior's healing. Jesus looks at her in this moment of all moments and says, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace."

Can you imagine this moment? Tears of joy. Is it real? Did Jesus just tell her she was healed? As she stood to walk away I am sure she didn't just walk. I imagine she was ready to dance. Who did she tell first? Did she invite family and friends into her home for a party of praise? Just when she thought she couldn't go any further, Jesus brought her through her trial and touched her with His healing powers. Just when she thought no one cared, Jesus showed her that He loved her beyond her circumstance.

Life would never be the same for this woman of faith. Her faith was strengthened. Her love for Jesus increased. She knew without a doubt that Jesus would heal her. Now for the rest of her days I can imagine her sharing her testimony with all she meets. A story of faith, hope and love. A journey of healing.

Friends, when you feel alone, when all feels like it's the end of the world, like there is no cause for living, there is hope. Hope in the Savior. He is there for those who believe. Though trials come, He remains near. There is no happenstance. In every situation there is an opportunity for Jesus to bring beauty from ash. He brings hope to every situation. It is in Him that we find true life. Even in the midst of our deepest trial, know that Jesus is near. He sees our trial and our heartbreak. As we can become stagnant in our moment of distress, Jesus sees past the hurt and trouble. He sees the greater good that is too come. Hold on, dear friends, when we are in our darkest moment, Jesus is about to bring it to pass and bring about a tremendous opportunity for us to shout glory to His name!

Luke 8:40-56, Mark 5:21-43, Matthew 9:18-26

"I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, and out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:1-3

"For You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory." Psalm 32:7

Dear Heavenly Father, in our time of need may we remember to turn to You. May we not lose hope, but find great faith as You lead us through the storms of life. Each day when we wake may we be grateful and ready to give You praise for Your boundless glories. Amen


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