Friday, August 17, 2012

Thoughts From The Woman With the Issue of Blood

Last night I read Mark 5:22-43.

This is the story of the healing of Jairus's daughter, and also the healing of the woman with the issue of blood.

Jesus was on his way to Jairus's house to heal his daughter.  While he made his way there, "much people followed him, and thronged him"

In the midst of all of the people was a  "certain woman which had a issue of blood".  She decided that if she could "touch but his clothes" that that would be enough for her to be healed.

She did just that and "straightway" she was healed.

Jesus, in the midst of all of those people, felt her touch him, stopped and inquired of her, spoke to her and blessed her.

Then he continued on his way to Jairus's house, where he healed his daughter.

As I was reading this story, I remembered a conversation that I had with my husband a few months back.

We were on our way home from a wonderful service where God's spirit had moved mightily, a heavy time of faith, healing, deliverance and rejoicing.

I turned to my husband and said "Wow, the Spirit was strong!  I was looking around the church and thinking 'Lord, this church is packed with so many needs.  I don't want you to worry about my little need, tonight, Lord.  Please touch these bigger needs.'  I was weeping and praying for these people and their big huge needs."

Boy, did I sound so spiritual and selfless, or what?

So, it really surprised me when my husband (very gently) rebuked me by quietly saying "Would you limit God?"

Ummmmm....

Is God's power so limited that he can only heal so many at one time?  Does He have to look around the church and say "Okay, I only have six miracles to give out today, so, hmmm, who looks most worthy?"

Not so.

God is all-powerful.  He is limitless.  

He was on his way to Jairus's house to heal his daughter when he healed the woman with the issue of blood.  The Bible does not tell us specifically whether or not he healed anyone else while on that journey.

However, it does tell us later, in Mark 6:55-56 that "As many as touched him were made whole".  He healed every one that reached out to him.

That brings me to another point:  Don't be put off by the crowd.  Our church is a small building packed with lots of people.  When the altar call is given, we all throng to the front and fill the aisles half-way up the church.  The ushers are trying to stack the chairs as quickly as they can, and, frankly, its easy to lose that fervent feeling when you're shuffling your way down the aisle, trying to get as close as possible.  By the time you come to a stopping point, it's a struggle to pray and you've all but forgotten what it was that you were going to pray about.  Add small kids, and, well, sometimes you think you'd might as well just go home.

But the woman with the issue of blood did not allow herself to be put off.  The Bible says that there was a multitude of people thronging Jesus and I doubt that they were all praying, singing and other spiritually-invoking behavior.  I bet there was a lot of pushing, shoving, name calling, and other non-spiritual attitudes as the crowd made their way down the street.

The woman didn't let that stop her.  She pushed her way closer to Jesus, enduring elbow jabs, shoves, and angry words.  Finally, in the midst of all the craziness, she reached out her hand.  "If I can just touch him."

And, in the middle of all the chaos, Jesus felt her touch.  With all those people thronging him, he was enduring lots of touching, so this wasn't something new.  But, he felt the desperate touch of that woman.

He turned to her, spoke to her, healed her, blessed her.

There have been times, like last Sunday night, when I was so grateful to the preacher for saying "Those of you in the back, come first."  I got to be right in front of the altar, was prayed for by a minister, was blessed and encouraged.

But there have been times when I couldn't get out of my pew.  And I felt frustrated because I couldn't go down to the altar.  I couldn't physically push my way to the front.  But symbolically, I pushed past the hindrances around me and made my way to Jesus.  And God met me at that place, He met my need.
Just as God is not limited to a number, God is not limited to a place.  He's looking for our surrender, our desperation.

So, if you have a need, make your way to Jesus like the woman with the issue of blood.  He is more than able, more than willing.

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