July 1, 2010
Stop! In the Name of Love
Friend To Friend
"Gone. All gone."
For twelve long years, she had been bleeding. Over 4,380 days. Lydia had gone from doctor to doctor to try and stop the flow, but as the years progressed she only worsened. Each day was a reminder of the emptiness she felt as her very life ebbed from her body.
"I've lost my family, my friends, my energy and now all my money. My very womanhood, the ability to conceive and suckle a child at my breast flows out of my body and leaves me a barren wasteland. And the pain? The constant cramping feels as though my womb is being squeezed by an invisible hand.
"‘Unclean.' That's what the priests say I am. No one is supposed to even touch me unless they are willing to go through a cleansing process afterwards. The house I live in, the chair I sit in, the utensils I cook with - all ceremonially unclean. Oh how I long for a human touch. A hug. A kiss. A pat on the back. A baby's cheek against my own."
"Oh, God," Lydia prayed. "There is nothing else for me to do. I've tried everything. Only a miracle will set me free from this life of isolation."
God smiled down at his daughter of Abraham and noticed her name on Jesus' celestial day-timer. Today was the day.
Sitting all alone in a darkened room, she heard a ruckus outside her window.
"It's Jesus!" Someone shouted. "Jesus is coming!"
"Jesus," she whispered to herself. "Maybe he could heal me. I know I'm not supposed to go out in public. Certainly I cannot speak to this man or any man on the street. What can I do?"
Quickly, she devised a plan. She wrapped a veil around her face with only enough of an opening for her eyes to peer out. She snuck out of her home and merged with the throng of people trying to catch a glimpse of the much-acclaimed healer and teacher. Gathering all the courage she could muster, she pushed her way through the crowd in hopes of getting close enough just to touch the hem of his robe.
"Jesus!" a man called from the crowd. Like the parting of the sea, the multitude gave way for the synagogue ruler to pass. Everyone knew Jarius. He was important.
Jesus turned as Jarius fell at his feet and begged. "My little daughter is dying," he began. "Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live."
The woman looked on as Jesus extended his hand to this distraught father, compassionately helped him to his feet, and apparently changed course to go with him. It was then that she made her move.
Shoring up courage and confidence, Lydia began muttering to her self, "If I can just touch his clothes, I will be healed. I know it. I just know it. I can't let this opportunity slip away." While unsure of herself, she was confident in Him. Her faith overcame her fear and she pressed forward.
Like a runner stretching for the finish line, the woman reached through the crowd and brushed her fingers against the hem of his garment. Just as her faith reached out to touch Jesus, God's healing power reached down to touch her. Immediately, she felt a surge of power flow through her body and the flow of blood come to a halt.
She knew it. She felt it. The flow stopped … and then Jesus stopped.
"Who just touched my clothes?" he asked.
The woman kept her eyes fixed to the ground as a jumble of thoughts scrambled through her mind. I'm unclean and not supposed to be out in public. I'm not supposed to touch anyone. What am I going to do? If I remove my veil people with recognize me. I'm not supposed to talk to a man in public. She wanted to run, but her feet were suddenly rooted to the ground.
"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?'"
Jesus ignored the disciples' comments and continued to pan the crowd in search of the person who had purposely touched his robe. He felt the power flow from his body like a current. He knew what had happened. Jesus can always sense the difference between the press of the curious and the touch of the faithful.
Silence hung like a cloud. No one said a word.
Finally, she couldn't hold it in any longer. She turned to Jesus and fell at his feet. With trembling voice, a geyser of gratitude and confession gushed forth.
"Master, I have had an issue of blood for over twelve years. I have gone from doctor to doctor and no one has been able to help me. I've lost my family, my friends and my finances. But when I heard that you were passing through, I just knew that you, O Lord, that you could heal me. I know I'm not supposed to touch anyone. I know that I am unclean in all regards. Please forgive me for the intrusion. But Jesus, what I have to tell you is this! I am healed! As soon as I touched the hem of your robe, the blood ceased to flow! Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus."
While others began to back away from her "uncleanness," Jesus reached forward and embraced her faith.
"Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when I feel alone and forgotten, You see me. Thank you for sending Jesus my way. Even though others may desert me, You always draw me near.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
Today's devotion is a retelling of Jesus healing the woman with the twelve year bleeding in Mark 5:21-34. I encourage you to go back and read it from the Bible.
How do you think you would you feel if you had been bleeding for 12 years?
Have you ever felt forgotten?
How would you feel if Jesus stopped right in the middle of what He was doing to speak to you and take care of your needs?
Sister, He has.
More From The Girlfriends
Today's devotion was taken from Sharon's new book, What God Really Thinks about Women: Finding Your Significance through the Women Jesus Encountered. We tend to read the gospels with our twenty-first century eyes. But when we understand how oppressive the culture Jesus stepped into was against women, we begin to understand just how radical Jesus' ministry, messages, and miracles were at setting women free. He risked His reputation to save theirs…and yours. To order this life-changing book, visit www.sharonjaynes.com. You'll fall in love with Jesus all over again.
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