And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” Mark 5:34 NLT
As I have gotten older, I realize that there are a few things really wear me out. One of those is being patient in the unknown and the other is dealing with pain. I have found in those seasons that require patience and endurance it is easy to get frustrated, feel hopeless, and retreat into myself. Anybody else?
Unfortunately, the more we retreat into ourselves, the easier it is to distance ourselves from God. When we feel hopeless, hurt, lost, and alone, it is easy to turn away from the people around us and from Jesus. Sometimes we isolate because we are afraid of what people will think, or maybe we are hiding because of the things they have already said. We hurt and sometimes we do not see a way out.
Mark 5:25-34 tells us about a hurting woman. This woman knew hurt — physical, spiritual, and emotional all too well. She hadn’t been sick for a week or even a month- but for 12 years. Twelve very long years this woman had suffered in her body with constant bleeding. For twelve years she fought a physical battle.
Her battle was not only physical it also created barriers to her spiritual life. She would have been considered unclean. This meant that she could not go into the temple to worship God. She was cut off from the way to God.
Then there was the relational pain. No one was allowed to touch and sit with her, or even touch anything she had touched or they would become unclean as well. Can you imagine the loneliness? To have people literally avoid you like the plague?
She must have felt utterly hopeless. I am sure the longer it dragged on, the less hope she felt. Depression likely mounted and she felt more and more isolated. The pain not only in her body but also in her heart grew until she felt completely unworthy and unloved.
But then — she began to hear stories about a man named Jesus who healed lepers, freed possessed people, showed compassion, and ate with sinners. As she heard about Him she began to have hope again. As she thought about what he did for others she realized that she had to get to Him. Despite the fact that she wasn’t supposed to let people touch her and He was surrounded by people. Despite the fact that she was unclean and unworthy. She was desperate.
So she did. She went to the place where there were crowds. She didn’t sit idly by, she entered the crowd and made her way up to him. She thought if she could just get close enough and touch even the hem of his garment, maybe, just maybe she would be healed. In her desperation she pushed forward towards Jesus, pushing past the fears and the societal expectations of those around her.
And then she did it — she touched his garment. Mark 5 says that immediately the bleeding stopped and she could feel she had been healed. That could have been it. That would have made a lovely ending to the story. She got the healing she was seeking. That could have been enough.
But that physical healing was not enough for Jesus! Jesus recognized that power went out from him and asked who touched him. There were so many who had touched Him, but at that moment he was not concerned about any of them- he was only concerned about her. The outcast, lonely, hurting woman who clung to faith and pursued Jesus. Despite everything else going on around Him, the most important thing at that moment was connecting with her.
He looked at her and spoke to her.
He could have continued on his way to heal others. He could have continued talking to everyone around him, but instead, he took the time to stop and talk with her. Why do this when she already had been healed? Because she had not only been hurting physically. She had been hurt spiritually and emotionally as well. Yes, Jesus wanted her body healed, but He knew that more healing was needed.
He looked at her and called her daughter. He was healing her spiritually and relationally. He established her worth as one who had faith in Him. One who was worthy to be identified with Him. While others had judged, ignored, and treated her as an outcast — this man who so many people wanted to be around, stopped and spoke to her. He showed that she was a person worthy of a relationship.
He also told her to go in peace. He was showing her that she could have peace and be healed emotionally. For so many years she had emotional pain. He knew that for her to be truly healed she would need the peace that only He could give. She would need the freedom to break the strongholds that had developed in her life in ways that were more than physical.
So the story could have ended with the physical healing, but it did not. It ended with Jesus giving attention to her. Validating her. Building a relationship with her.
Beloved, He wants to do the same for you. He wants to take the places in your life that are hurting — emotionally, physically, spiritually, and relationally and bring peace to them. But, we also have to pursue healing. She didn’t just sit back and do nothing. She was courageous enough to fight through the expectations of people, the circumstances of her life, and even the insecurities and feelings of unworthiness to pursue a touch from Jesus.
Jesus wants you to pursue Him until you find Him. He wants you to reach out to touch the hem of His garment. He wants you to feel seen, known and loved by Him. You are important to Him. When you place your faith in Him you are His daughter.
Would you pursue and receive that love, peace, and healing today?
Jennifer Wennekamp is a teacher, women’s pastor, and founder of liveinhisword.com. She has also authored the book, “Fear Not: Untying the Knot of Fear,” available on Amazon.com. Her passion is to help women find joy, peace, and hope so that they can pursue the passions that God has laid on their hearts. She lives in Mississippi with her husband and has two adult children and a soon-to-be son-in-love!
We thank you, Jenn, for your contribution to this publication of Titus-two.com and sharing your wisdom, insight and love for women through the gift of words of encouragement.
Your are loved to Heaven and Back, Jenn ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary