She was unclean and had been bleeding for twelve years. (Luke 8) Twelve years is a long time. I know. I have had a similar problem for 25 years. Twelve years is a long time.
Doctors. More doctors. She had spent all her money. She had probably spent all her emotional and physical energy on seeking help. Twelve years is a long time to seek help. I know.
I think I might know her path... or in the least I am acquainted with her grief.
I know the embarrassment. I know the unexplainable, irrational guilt. The hiding or ignoring. The fear. I know the confusion that might come with twelve years of bleeding. I know the looks of "unclean" on faces of people who can't handle a topic of this nature. Too personal. Too "gross". Too embarrassing.
But, something remarkable happened that day inside that bleeding, reaching-woman. Hope and faith had welled up within her. She was propelled forward into the crowd. Was she even ever supposed to be there among them, this unclean woman? Probably not.
She pushed through the crowd. She pushed through those that would judge her and call her dirty. She pushed through the heaving, dirty, hot crowd... a crowd so thick it almost crushed Jesus... and she reached out. Pushing forward, she believed. Reaching out, she knew. She knew that only if...
If only... she could touch His cloak, she would be healed. And, she was.
She was healed that very moment. That day the bleeding stopped! The mess of her life. The pain. The embarrassment. The despair and discouragement. In that moment, and from His powerful Self, it all stopped. It all ended the moment she touched Him.
He hadn't reached out to her. He hadn't seen her. But, He knew her the minute she touched Him. He knew and He searched for her. And, then He tells her that she can go in "peace"! Peace, to your body, my daughter! It was her faith that healed her, He said.
She had to initiate this healing... or did she? Where did that faith come from that allowed her to be so bold? Where had this courage and believe come from?
I believe that our Father initiates and pours out all faith... as a gift. And, in that moment, He filled her with this deep, unmistakable gift.
In the last few days, I have felt this hope welling up within me. Like never before.
Like never before, I have sensed that God might be whispering into my soul, "I want to heal you". Yesterday, in prayer, I was certain He did want healing. I need only ask and reach out.
In response to this faith, I must disregard the severity of the disease and the years of pain. I must push through the reasons that says, "not possible". I must say, "No!" to those thoughts ... the heaving crowd of intellect and medical history .... and reach forward. This is harder than I can explain in words. If you have any long term illness, you might understand the difficulty of this act of faith.
It can't come from me. It isn't coming from me. This faith that I feel building up within my soul is radical. It is divine. It is an unmistakable gift from my Father above.
Reach out, Stephanie and touch Him. Say to Him that you want healing. Believe, my daughter, that He can and more than that... believe He wants to.
So, for the first time (maybe ever), I am asking in faith that the Lord would heal me. I am asking that the internal bleeding would stop. I am asking that the pain would end and my embarrassment and unclean-ness would be over. I am asking. I am hoping.
I am reaching out. ...and waiting.
|Painting by Gwen Mahag|