Sunday, November 11, 2012

Are you in a struggle? For how long? There's Hope

After reading and comparing, Matthew, Mark and Luke’s accounts of the woman who bled and after reading various translations and transliteration of these verses, I am just in awe of this poor woman. If you dig deeper, your study will lead you to Leviticus 15:19-32. Every month a woman was considered unclean during her cycle, and if she had discharge that continued longer than the normal cycle, she was considered unclean for the whole amount of time plus eight days. Then the women had to offer sacrifices to become clean. During her cycle, no one was to touch her, what she sat on, or her bed, or they would become unclean as well. This poor lady had been having a bleeding condition for TWELVE YEARS! Now, ladies, you know back in that day women didn’t have the conveniences we have today. Their duties around the home and grounds was restricted during this time, but this poor woman had an ongoing medical issue. After twelve years of dealing with this affliction, I can’t help but think she had to be anemic. She had to feel isolated and alone, ostracized and maybe neglected. Twelve years of being seen as unclean seeking help but finding none, wanting healing but becoming destitute without medical success. If you have friends and family members who stick around for twelve years of hardship, count yourself blessed.

                      I’m wondering if this woman had that kind of support.

                               I’m wondering if she becomes reclusive tired of telling her story over and over again.

                                    I’m wondering if her social skills are lacking because she hasn’t had   social interaction with people because she is unclean.
Instead of wearing the Scarlett Letter A,
she wears the Scarlett Letter U – Unclean.

In Matthew’s story, the woman approaches Jesus from behind. Timidity and lack of social interaction, could she not face Jesus straight on? Did she fear making Jesus unclean by her touch?

Put yourself in her shoes. She is pushing and shoving her way through a sea of humanity. People are clammering to get a good look at Jesus, to be near him. She worms her way forward. She’s getting closer. She reaches out her hand. Twelve years she has tried everything under the sun. She had followed every doctors’ orders. She has tried every old wives’ tale and piece of advice she received, and here she is pushing her way through to Jesus. After twelve years, THIS WOMAN STILL HAS HOPE! Don’t you know that over the past twelve years her hopes have been dashed too many times to count? Don’t you know that over the past twelve years people have told her to give up? But here she is struggling to get to him, struggling to reach him. She puts out her hand. She can almost reach the Savior. Can you feel the anxiety and energy that she must have been feeling?

                         She’s reaching.
                                  She’s straining, and then she feels it.
                                            She has touched the garment of the Savior!


I’m just telling you right now, if I were her I’d stop dead in my tracks and bawl like a baby. Having struggled with infertility and enduring fertility treatments I know about seeking help, getting my hopes up only to have them dashed. I know about taking every piece of advice given and following the rules. I have been that anxious woman reaching out my hand to Jesus, and I too have felt that relief, that healing. My healing did not come in the form of a successful, full-term pregnancy. My healing came when we stopped trying and adopted the child God had chosen for us.

Is there something that you have struggled with for a period of time? Have you seen doctors, visited with wise counsel? Have you invested your time, energy and money into the situation? Have you ever lost hope? Find your hope in Him. Reach out for him. He’s there.

Twelve years of struggle. Twelve years of pain, embarrassment. Twelve years of poor health. Twelve long years, and one touch gave her a future she never thought she’d have. One touch gave her healing. One touch gave her life. One touch restored her to living.

Are you desperate for Jesus? Are you so desperate for him that you are willing to reach out for him? He wants you to reach out for him. He’ll be there. I promise. He’ll be there.

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