“God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible. What a pity we plan to do only the things that we can do by ourselves.” ~ A.W. Tozer
Many of us know the story of the woman with the issue of blood. For those that need a reminder or haven’t yet heard, Mark 5:24-34 tells us that this poor woman spent 12 long years suffering with a disease that caused endless bleeding. It never stopped. Ever. Could you imagine how that much blood loss must have made her feel? Exhausted and hopeless. Weak and feeble. Dirty and ashamed. Sick and unclean. Lonely and depressed. Leviticus 15:25-27 explains that in Jewish culture, even normal menstruation was viewed as unclean and impure and would require action in order to become clean once again. This tired, sick woman never stopped bleeding and I’m certain felt at the end of her rope after exhausting all of her money and effort in men and hope of this world for healing.
And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease. Mark 5:34
I need you to visualize this very moment. The moment that this impure, unclean woman who had done all that she knew to do to change her circumstance for the last 12 years, touching Jesus’ garment. See her desperately press through the crowd needing to get to her Savior, the source of her healing. Her only hope. Can you hear the racing thoughts? Can you feel her excitement for what is about to happen? And then, she is healed. Immediately the blood ceased. Healed and forever changed.
Now, we could close up shop and all go home to marinate in this beautiful story of the power of faith and the gracious healing that Jesus gave. It’s enough. He is enough. But today, there’s something more that has pricked my heart that might make you feel a little unsettled too, but in the best kind of way.
Scripture tells us that Jesus is immediately surrounded by a large crowd when he arrives to the shore from yet another trip across the Sea of Galilee. Scripture also tells us that the bloody mess of a woman seeking Jesus had to press through that large crowd in order to touch him. Today, who are you in this crowd?
Are you a curious bystander just watching what all the fuss is about?
Have you heard of Jesus and His miraculous saving power but stand in resentment because you personally haven’t been healed? Nothing feels different in your life?
Are you the one paralyzed in fear of what might happen because your circumstance seems bigger than the promises of Jesus?
I know, pride. Yes most definitely pride. Do you need to check off your to-do list first or try what the world offers before reaching out to the Savior? You’ve got this, you feel in control.
Wait, maybe you once would have been courageous enough to push through the crowd but one time, or many times, you were hurt and it has made you question the goodness of God?
Or maybe like the unclean woman, you feel dirty too. You feel that if anyone could see the filth hidden in your heart and mind, you would surely be rejected. So you just hide in the crowd. Ashamed.
What about this person? You know Jesus is real. You believe He can save you. But first, you need to fix the mess of your life and then you will press into Him.
Can I be honest with you my friend? If you don’t believe that you can boldly and confidently approach Jesus just as you are and receive His love and grace, you don’t believe He is who He says He is. Don’t get mad. Don’t turn away. Deal with the issue. Your heart issue.
You are worthy of His love. He died for you.
Faith produces rest while fear makes us crazy.
Selfish pride will never result in gain. Only repentance and the pure joy of Christ will result in prosperity.
You are not your past. You are not what has been done to you. You are not your choices. You are a forgiven Child of God who has been justified and made righteous.
You can try out other religions or research other options, but faith in Christ is the only assurance of a protected life and eternity. He is the only way.
If you don’t know Jesus personally, today is the day of salvation. It’s time. What are you waiting for? It’s simply belief in Jesus as the son of God who bled on a cross for your shameful sins in order to make you clean and forgiven. Once dead from crucifixion, He rose again alive and conquered death forever. He is the way that has made it possible to be made right with God. His sacrifice put us in right standing with God if only we will believe and spend the rest of our lives running hard after Him. Repentance and belief. He is good. Really good.
Sweet Sisters of mine, where do you stand in the crowd today? Are you running after Jesus no matter who or what tries to get in your way or are you aimlessly wandering blinded by the sin of this world and the issues of your heart? I don’t know about you but I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I no longer want to follow the crowd hoping Jesus could work for me or resenting the lies that Jesus didn’t work for me. Just as the unclean woman pressed through the crowd in faith, I too want to press through life focused in on the only source of saving power, Jesus. Will you join me? Do business with God today. Don’t wait one more minute to let the excuses of your life get in the way of a faith filled pursuit of Christ. There is no other way to find peace and rest. Joy and freedom. There is healing of the soul at the foot of the cross. It is not a selfish pursuit for what we can gain but a pursuit out of genuine love that can be shared with others so that they too can move in the crowd. It’s your choice. Be unsettled in fear and pain or become undone in pure joy in the hope found only in Christ.
“It’s not the strength of your faith that saves you, but the strength of Him upon whom you rely.” ~ Charles Spurgeon