July 8, 2008

The Woman Who Bled For 12 Years

A sweet friend commented on the song, I will Praise You In This Storm… my heart goes out ot her. I wanted to encourage her and all that may be feeling at bit of what she is feeling, as I know we have all been there a time or two as we endure and perserve our ongoing trials.

"A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ “But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you go fin peace and be freed from your suffering." Mark 5:24-34

Us that have little ones with disabilities wonder if any or all of the issues with them will ever heal miraculously or get somewhat better over time with days, months or even years of prayer & petition to God. We aks ourselves why hasn’t He answered our prayer in the way we want? There are days when I get discouraged but I never lose hope. Even in the midst of the storm I know my Lord is there, working things out for me and giving me peace about it all. The trial remains, our plans might not work out, but His plans & ways are higher than our own. He wants to give us so much more than we could ever imagine. Even in the worst of circumstances, He can be glorified through our lives as we stay close and submissive in Him. The woman who bled for 12 years is close to my heart because of the incredible faith that she showed. Why now, after all these years, did God heal her? Was it for others to see her faith? Was it for others to witness a healing? Was it just for her? Was it for her own family and friends? Would she now go out and share the news of Christ to others? Was it just for us who now read her story… perhaps, it was for all of these answers. Can’t you just visualize this massive crowd surrounding Jesus, so many had heard of who He was, that He could heal & restore… so many, pushing and shoving just to get close.

Jesus had just been asked to heal a little girl and He was on his way to her home when He felt that someone had touched Him, that some of His power had left Him. He would ask His disciples who had touched His clothes... “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’" But Jesus knew that this touch was different. This cry for help came from someone with a different heart, someone who knew what patience was, someone who knew what power Christ had and someone who had real faith. Christ would heal her because it was His will. Her healing would have a purpose that would grow more fruit than she could ever imagine. Sure, Christ could have healed her from day one and perhaps one or two people would have known. However, due to the delay and what this woman had to endure, the healing came so that millions would one day know Christ. Millions will one day understand that God has a plan for us too, and that it is greater than we all could have ever imagined! It’s not always what we want, so we must trust in His direction and not our own. FAITH IS NOT JUST SAYING AND BELIEVING, BUT LIVING IT DAILY Even when God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we want, we still need to have faith. She believed in Christ and who He was, she first heard without seeing, and she believed with all her heart that He had the power to heal her! She came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering." Mark 5:27-29 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you, go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:34 TRUST IN GOD I believe God works through doctors and nurses – I also believe we sometimes limit God because man is limited. This woman did what most of us do, she sought out many doctors to cure her. She spent everything she had only for her situation to remain. I feel she was at her wits end when she heard about Jesus and what He could do and she wasn’t ready to give up just yet. She took a risk to trust in God’s power and not man’s… This power would heal her, and she would suffer no more. "In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? I am under vows to you, O God; I will present my thank offerings to you." Psalm 56:10-12 SUFFERING AND PERSERVERANCE This woman persevered to find a cure, and she never gave up. She would not find a cure because at that time there wasn’t one for her illness. Her cure would have to come from God. Her body must have been in pain, but it didn’t matter, she kept moving forward and was determined to touch Jesus, to be healed. "If we are distressed, it is for our comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for our comfort, which produces in us patience and endurance of the same sufferings we suffer." 2 Corinthians 1:6 "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:3-4 LONLINESS CAN LEAD TO HOPE Because we know that this kind of illness would be considered “unclean”, this woman spent a lot of time alone, resulting in loneliness. Her illness kept her from being able to do a lot of things in her home, and in her community. She not only was bleeding but was also in physical pain. So many of us are enduring harships as we care for our special angels that sometimes keep us from enjoying life, seeking friendships, going to church and an so on. One day we get up feeling great and another we don’t want to get outta bed… I think maybe this woman felt the same, however her loneliness led to her hope in believing she would one day not suffer anymore, and she would be able to re-join society and she did. "Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering." Mark 5:29 DONT EVER GIVE UP ON GOD This woman teacheds us more than perseverance. Her life teaches us that we should never give up on what God wants to show us, that He is still at work in our live, our little ones and those that are impacted by the testimony and legacy that they live and leave behind! "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe." 1 Thessalonians 2:13 HUMILITY Can you imagine this womans unbelievable humility at this point? After 12 long, hard, emotional and exasperating years of suffering, in one second she had been healed not only from bleeding but from the physical pain. Are there times in your life that God has done something miraculous? Every day we am saved from near car accidents, infectious germs, and many other things that are mircals we over look daily. Every day, God gives us His word to renew us in His strength and every day is a new day to experience God and his love. Do we fall at his feet and thank him? or, do we take each day for granted? But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. "Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth." Mark 5:32 "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." Proverbs 11:2 SUFFERING I know Jesus suffered so much more than I could ever imagine. I know he understands our pain, our hurt, our disappointment but just knowing He understands what we endure because if was at his hand, His soverign plan for us should help us to endure and perserve what we go through daily. "And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:7 GOD HEALED HER FOR HIS PURPOSE In Luke 4:27, we find another account of the story of the woman who was bleeding. When she was healed she made a declaration for all of those around her about what God had done. Do you tell people of what God has done in your life? People seem to have such a hard time telling others about Christ. Start with hi, hello, it’s nice to meet you. Start with those you see daily/weekly like your dry cleaner, doctors, nurses, dentist, teachers, your neighbors. Start with a hello that leads to how are you that leads to tell me something about yourself and vice versa that… which leads to a small foundation for the beginning of a relationship. This small fraction in time we can be used to plant a seed that can lead them to Christ one day. Everyone we meet, every day has a purpose in our lives. Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”… For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13 God is working out his purpose in your life, too. This woman would become an instant witness for hundreds of people including Jesus disciples. Christ would not let her leave without revealing what He had done, so that people could see that this healing was by His “will”. This healing was not because of His garment but it was from Him. This type of miracle would only be one example of the many people who came to Jesus with only their faith, trusting in Him to heal them or their loved ones. So why did it take so long? Why has God allowed things to happen to us that seem obscure? Why dosen’t He heal or change our little ones lives? Why does suffering take so long? Just like the woman who bled, I believe it’s all a part of God’s purpose for our lives. I believe suffering makes us stronger, keeps us closer to Christ and reminds us of His control over our lives. Suffering also keeps us in communication with God. If everything was perfect, then we might have the tendency to leave God out of our plan, even our daily lives. However, through disappointment and unanswered prayer our seeking God becomes stronger. We have had to find a bigger peace and a stronger hope. It forces us to step out on faith in ways we may have never tired before. We have to trust God for His plan and not our own , believing His ways are better than ours. I have a hope and a promise that one day our suffering will be no more! Until then, I pray that we keep our eyes on the end goal, remaining willing vessels as we endure our trials that we may glorify God for to Him Be The Glory! Tam

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