Spiritual Growth and Encouragement for Christian Women

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Do You Need Faith for God to Heal?

Do You Need Faith for God to Heal?

Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”

Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment. Mathew 9:20-22 (NLT)

My husband and I weren’t sure where to look. We fidgeted and cast our eyes to the ceiling and then to the floor again. 

I watched Xylon finger a piece of paper with the photo and words of a person who had passed on from cancer only a few days before. We were told this person was a servant of the Lord, and a mighty prayer warrior, and how sad that she would no longer sing praise on Sunday.

I didn’t want to have this conversation. Not again. I didn’t want to hear how Xylon could be healed of cancer if he just had enough faith.

I tried to look calm, while our friend shared well-meaning words about how Xylon and I shouldn't pray for healing, but for an increase of faith - because it is your faith that makes you well. 

I watched as Xylon tapped the memorial service flyer against the edge of the table twice. I wondered if he was thinking the same thing, if he was contemplating the irony that the prayer warrior on the funeral bill lacked the faith to heal herself. 

When did the burden of healing begin to fall on the sick instead of on our big, gracious God? (tweet this)

I thought back to the bible story I’d heard since my childhood about the women who had been sick for years, a woman who risked everything to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment.

A woman who gambled for healing. 

A woman to whom Jesus turned and said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

I wondered what Jesus would think about his words being twisted into condemnation for a person struggling to be well.

Later, I found the story on BibleGateway and wondered, If Jesus hadn’t stopped and sought out the women who touched his garment would she have been healed? 

Would her faith have been enough to heal her? 

Or was only she healed because Jesus turned and spoke life into her body?

I can’t help thinking that maybe I’ve missed the point of this story over the years. Maybe this story is not about the woman having enough faith to reach out for Jesus, but about Jesus seeing and responding to her when she needed him. 

Have I made this story about the woman’s faith rather than about the compassion of Jesus to those who cry out to him when they are hurting? 

Months later, I sat in an office where a doctor told us sometimes you just have to have faith.

I sat there and thought about how the burden of healing is never on the patient, how it is never even on a doctor, but how it is always, always, on God. 

The burden of healing rests on the shoulders of my big, gracious God who turns when I touch the hem of his garment. 

The burden of healing falls on my God who knows the plans he has for me even when my own hopes collapse around me. 

The burden of healing lies in my God whose ways aren’t a faith formula, but a mystery. (tweet this)

As these words on faith and healing swirled in my head, I thought I heard a whisper,

“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

And I realised God also turns to speak life to those who doubt

Ponder: What role do you think faith plays in God choosing to heal?

Prayer: Thank you Jesus that you see my needs and meet them. 

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- This was orginally published on my site in July 2014 to read more devotionals like this go to ilovedevotionals.com