As I’ve been getting together with girls this week, I’ve been sharing some thoughts from Matthew 9, primarily around this passage…
While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.
I can not imagine how difficult life must have been for this woman. She was most likely constantly weakened from her condition, and possibly isolated from society because of this mysterious ailment. And here she is tracking down Jesus, and coming up behind him, in a bold, and risky move, she reaches out to Him. She obviously believes He is the answer to this illness. If only she can just touch Him. And then when he turns to her and not only reassures her, and encourages her, he heals her – instantly. She’s suddenly free to change the entire direction of her life. She is a healed woman – able to fully participate in life in ways not accessible to her before.
Lessons for My Life:
Make a Diagnosis:
This woman had an obvious condition. Something was draining the very life out of her. There are things in my life too that drain me, but usually I am unable to pinpoint what it is. I go through several days with a general sense of discouragement, discontent, despair even. I’m quick to point the finger at lack of sleep, a messy house, my broken coffee pot – anything to explain away my feelings. “I’m just tired. This will pass.” As difficult as it is, I need to figure out what’s going on, more often than I do. If I took the time to examine my life, my heart, my relationships, I know I would see the patterns, the triggers, and the issues, that create reoccurring, and life draining, melancholy.
Make an Appointment:
The very first thing I want to do when I’m feeling drained is get some “Me” time. By “Me” time I mean – get my haircut, watch a movie, look at antique furniture, surf the net, or eat. I have a great hubby and he is usually very happy to cut me some slack and I usually do come back from “Me” time in a better mood – at least for a while. But, it usually isn’t too long before I’m back where I started.
“Me” time is not bad. It’s good and I recommend it. But for me, it needs to include time with Jesus. Time with Him is not only mood altering, it’s heart altering. It’s healing. Especially when I am able to really pin point what’s going in my heart, spending time with Him is really the best way to not only temporarily lift the fog, but also begin to heal.
Take a risk:
I’m ashamed to admit this, but last time I visited my Family Practice doctor, I didn’t really tell him everything going on with me. I felt pretty good that day and so when he asked me how I was doing, I said, “Fine.” Even though I’d taken time to come and see him, I chickened out of telling him about some of the physical concerns I had. I was embarrassed and felt that maybe I was just imagining things and decided somewhere between arriving and getting the yucky paper robe on that I was fine and could figure out for myself at WEBMD if there was anything really wrong.
Same goes for me and God. I sit down before Him, I open His wonderful word, and I blank. Something in me resists sifting through things with Him, opening up my heart before Him, crying out to Him. I shove all the feelings and questions down – read a chapter, pray for some friends, and stand up. “Well God, thanks for nothing…” I sometimes have the AUDACITY to mutter under my breath.
The woman in Matthew reached out and touched Jesus. This was a very risky move. What if someone saw her reaching out to touch him? They would certainly have shoved her away, ridiculed her for her presumptuous move. But she did it. In faith she believed He would care, and would use His power for her good.
I just pray right now for myself and for you, that we would sift through our hearts and do the work of identifying what it is that is draining us, hurting us, isolating us. Then, let’s go to Jesus and reach out to Him. Let’s weep, whimper, and reveal ourselves before Him. Let us hold on to His robe in faith, believing He loves us and will use His power for our good.