Thursday, October 28, 2021

My Story Matters: The Woman with the Issue of Blood

(picture taken in Magdala, Israel fall of 2018)

Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” Luke 8:46-48

Question: How would YOU feel if no one called you by name, but only by the health-condition with which you struggled?

Such is the case in the New Testament with the woman we refer to as "the woman with an issue of blood." 

Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record this poor woman’s story.  

It seems not one of them took the time to ask her if she had a name; however, they did take the time to talk about her faith.  

I do believe I'd be ok with that....

In fact, if no one remembers my name, but they refer to me by my faith in Jesus once I'm gone...all the better! "That woman who believed..." What an honor!!!!

BUT, back to the story of this dear woman....

(picture taken in Magdala, Israel)

After a little research from various sources, my heart goes out to this gal.  

Not only did she have to deal with her hemorrhaging for 12 years, but an issue this severe left her with a lot of other physical complications, which I discovered: weakness, fatigue, headaches, irritability, brittle hair and nails, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, mouth sores, iron deficiency, and restless leg syndrome are all symptomatic.  

That’s just for starters.  

Then, there was The Law.  

(picture from the Bible Museum, Washington DC)

The Law was very specific (start reading at Leviticus 15:25):  as long as this woman was bleeding, she was unclean, and, everything she sat on or touched was unclean.  

So for twelve years, no one wanted to touch her or be near her, because to do so left her friends and family defiled (that word alone is intimidating)…and the process for cleansing was more than complicated.  

Add to this the fact that she’d seen every legitimate doctor (and, probably, quack) around the country, and  she was flat broke.  

Now, take all this into consideration, and we see a woman barely holding onto a rope of hope.  

The emotional torment left her embarrassed, distressed, depressed, discouraged, and desperate.  Her soul was wracked with a futile combination of fear and frustration.  

Put yourself in her shoes, and, back to the original question: how would YOU feel?

There was no question, this gal’s only remaining hope rested in the One she heard rumors about.  

One such rumor came from across the lake where a local crazy man lived secluded in tombs for years.  The word on the streets, that came drifting through her window, was that Jesus had healed him completely; and, now this man was dressed, in his right mind, and headed home to tell his story.  

More than anything, our gal "with the issue of blood" wanted to add her story to his.

In spite of her lack of energy, she made her way through the pressing crowds.  

This was no easy task.  

It took every ounce of effort she could muster.  

She couldn’t get quite near enough, and she didn’t want to risk being recognized, because as we've already read, if this happened, it would leave the Healer defiled, and any who might have accidentally bumped into her.  

So, she bent low, beneath the outstretched arms above, all grabbing for a piece of Jesus, and simply touched the hem of his garment.  

You know the rest of the story.  

Immediately, the bleeding stopped, and she was well. 

Jesus felt power go out of him.  

He demanded to know who touched him.  

At this point, our girl had very little to lose; so, trembling, she stepped forward and blurted out her whole story.  

I love the words of Jesus from The Message, 

“Daughter, you took a great risk trusting me.  Now you’re healed and whole…  Go in peace.” 

Here’s what I take away from this dear woman's story (I'm so thankful it's recorded in Scripture for us all, because while our problem may not be a bleeding problem, we've all had a "brokenness" problem):

Our brokenness, when it leads us to Jesus, also unwraps for us the key to great faith.  This woman’s desperation drove her to take a chance she wouldn’t have taken otherwise.  As long as she had something to “try next,” she could continue to look elsewhere for an answer. 
Being desperate just might be our biggest blessing.

Faith will always involve a risk.   
We have to face our greatest fears and be willing to surrender them for the sake of greater gain.  (BUT, take heart....Jesus ALWAYS HAS TIME FOR US!)

Jesus’ power is sufficient to break the chains of whatever holds us back from experiencing an abundant life.   
We simply have to make the first move to reach out...and, then, His grace takes over.  

Faith not only saves, but it brings healing to our hearts and draws us into God's family.   
For someone no one wanted to be near, Jesus' use of the word “daughter” mended years of agony brought about by isolation.

AND, we act on will always bring peace. Peace of heart, peace of mind, peace in life... It's a promise we can take to the bank! For someone who hadn't experienced peace in 12 years, or more, can you imagine what that felt like.... 

Did this woman deserve her healing?  No; and, neither do we! 

What the "woman with the issue of blood" received is ours, too...simply because of our Savior's grace.

Reach out for His hem...


No comments:

Post a Comment