I used to pity the woman with the issue of blood. Twelve years of unresolved pain, draining her energy and health every day.
But I beat her. I didn’t mean to, I just kept putting off taking care of my own “issue.” The first time I remember my hip hurting was after practicing a dance routine for a youth missions trip. It was upbeat and fun, our whole group laughing in the sun as we learned the choreographed moves in the yard near the house where we were staying. But during a pause in our work, I sat down in the grass and stretched – and discovered that a new pain had snuck into my body.
I don’t remember exactly which summer that was, but I’m not in high school… or college… or my early thirties… anymore. So that happened quite a while ago. And I just this year got an MRI, discovered the tear in my labrum, made appointments with an orthopedic surgeon, and scheduled a procedure to repair multiple tears in my hip.
In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”Luke 8:43-48 (The Message)
When no one stepped forward, Peter said, “But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.”
Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.”
When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.
4Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”
Why did I wait so long? It’s not that I didn’t want help getting well – after all, I did try a few chiropractors and physical therapists over the years. But I was too busy [with good things!] to pursue anything for very long or to be persistent enough to find a cure.
I had four babies, ran a local ministry for teen moms, volunteered on worship teams, helped with youth groups and outreaches, practiced hospitality, prayed, went to the dentist, did laundry… you know, all the right things. But there in the background, all along, was a nagging pain that made all of those good things harder.
And this makes me think… what else have I been neglecting?? This is a scary question. Are there parts of my heart that have been bleeding or in pain…keeping me from being healed and whole… and I have just ignored them, pushing ahead with my good things?
Unforgiven hurts, bitterness, anger, envy, discontent, worry, pride… all things I like to talk about as much as I like to talk about blood – and things that seem as ridiculous to find a cure for as an 18-year hip disorder. For a while I might throw some Physical Therapy-level Bible reading and some chiropractic prayer at them, but pretty soon they join the background of my life – just predictable, nagging pains that I don’t have time to take care of, because… I’m doing lots of good things.
This woman, though – she didn’t have an OB-GYN, or a health clinic, or a nurse, or Google, or a Mom’s Group on Facebook, or even a medical thesaurus… but she didn’t stop seeking help, even after twelve years. In fact, she even sought out a man rumored to be a miracle-worker – enough to push her way through the tight crowd to get close enough to touch him. She still believed there was hope. She didn’t give up. She knew healing was possible, and nothing [not even the good things] could get in her way.
“Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”
Jesus Christ, Luke 8:48
Those are some pow.er.ful words right there.
18 years is too long to wait. 12 years is too long to wait. One year is too long to wait if there is even a glimmer of hope that this man called Jesus can really set my heart free to live healed and whole. The good things don’t have to stay hard. But I do have to stop letting them distract me from bringing myself to the feet of the Healer.
“…we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…”Hebrews 6:18-19
So I resolve to stop stalling. I don’t have to walk with a limp – hip-wise or heart-wise. There are too many other hurting people, too many friends, too many of my own children who are waiting to see if God’s grace-filled power is for real for me to limp around. The good things can’t be so important that they get in the way of my healing.
I’m going to have to push through a crowd of good things, but I am determined to hear these words for myself: “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”
You interested in joining me?
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