A Journey of Determination
Mark 5:21-34: When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around Him while He was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at His feet and pleaded earnestly with Him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live." So Jesus went with him. 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 in peace and be freed from your suffering."
Before we can appreciate this woman's journey of determination you have to know something about the Jewish culture of that time. Women were not valued in society and were considered "unclean" if you were bleeding. What that means is, no social contact, NO touching. So, here is a woman who has been suffering for 12 years, no money, and no social life. What this woman did have though, is... expectation, faith, and determination.
This woman had obstacles and challenges to overcome in her journey of determination. Five times this story mentions the crowd gathered "pressed" around Jesus. We don't know any details, we only know she came up behind Jesus and there was a crowd around him. If she was "unclean," you'd think people would move out of her way and make a path for her. That didn't happen...it says Jesus turned around in the crowd. Was she pushed or shoved by the people?
In my imagination, I see her crawling in the dust and dirt attempting to get to Jesus. She knew that under Jewish law, Jesus would be "unclean" if she touched Him. That's another obstacle...doubt and fear. I wonder what voices of doubt and fear came into her head? Whatever they were, it's her desperation, expectation, and faith that pushed the doubts and fear out and kept her going on her journey of hope and determination.
What can we learn from her story?
1. She reached out in faith. When we pray, we're doing the same thing. Our journey of hope and faith start with prayer. For myself, there are times when I pray and then let those voices of doubt, fear, and the lies of Satan come in. They keep me from moving forward and hearing God's voice of wisdom, direction, and ultimately, "His good and acceptable and perfect will," (Romans 12:2).
2. She was humble and honest with Jesus. No pride...she, '"came and fell at his feet and trembling with fear, told Him the whole truth." Just like this woman, we need to be honest with God and tell Him the whole truth. When you pray, tell Him you're hurting, afraid, repentant, lonely, thankful; whatever is going on with you. Being honest with yourself and God helps you hear His voice (His will).
Life gives us roads (trials) of twists and turns; challenges and obstacles. Some are long, some short. At the end of our road (story), it might not be a miraculous physical healing like this woman; it might be a spiritual healing. Maybe it's a road of forgiveness or finding contentment. Whatever our "road" is, God will be there.
Along with faith comes expectation and patience; easier said than done. Ask God to help you with this and to help you recognize and push away those doubts, fears, worries, and lies of Satan. Thank God for being on this journey with you...your story, His glory.
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering" (Mark 5:34). Healed, peace, freedom...sounds good to me!
What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. (Hebrews 11:1 TLB)
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)