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Really difficult situations

A woman in the crowdThe crowd was packing around Jesus and everybody was jockeying for a better position so they could see Him.
During this pandemonium a woman stretched out her hand, she thought:

‘If I just touch His outer garment, THEN I will be healed!’

She had suffered from constant bleeding for 12 years, she was desperate.
And she had spent all her money on doctors – but there had been no cure …

What made matters even worse, according to the Jewish customs, she would have been classed as ‘ceremonially unclean’. That would have meant that she was barred from going to the Temple, and also barred from touching anything sacred.

But here she was TOUCHING Jesus, the SON of GOD, the Holy One!

Why did she feel she could do that?
It is because Jesus is full of grace, and that makes Him approachable.
And grace is the love and mercy of God in action.
Grace is the smile on God’s face and not an angry look.

John the disciple wrote about Jesus, saying that He is:

“full of grace and truth” and that, “from the fullness of His grace we have all received, one blessing after another.”

Grace gives from an endless supply and He will give many blessings to us, if we approach Him with humility.

Desperate ladyThis woman would not have gone to the Temple, but she felt faith rising up inside of her, to touch Jesus, because she knew that she could rely upon His mercy and love.

In Jesus she was able to see the smiling face of God.

When she touched His outer garment she was healed:

“and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realised that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched My clothes?’ “

Jesus was not annoyed at her, He was tender, and He spoke as one concerned about her.
Jesus wanted to commend and encourage her faith, and also to confirm her healing.

We need to see here, that, it is not only the secret acts of sin that are seen by the Lord, but also the secret acts of faith.
By our secret acts of faith we can derive power and goodness from Jesus, and He sees these acts of faith, and He is pleased.
Jesus puts honour upon faith, because faith gives honour to Jesus.

Mark records that she was immediately healed.
When we read of these spontaneous healing’s, we tend to think that God always moves instantly.
It fits our modern life styles, but it is really contrary to how God works for most of the time.

Let’s look at this woman’s troubled life.

She had suffered this constant bleeding for 12 years!
And because Jesus calls her ‘Daughter’ it is probable that she was a believer in the living God, and possibly had been so, even before her illness.
For 12 long years she had spent all of her money, on doctors and medicines.
Now she was not only very ill, and weak, but also out of money, in a society where there was no Social Security.
There must have been many times when when she would have prayed for her circumstances to get better.
But the Lord did NOT work an instantaneous miracle, and she had to struggle on.

If you are in a difficult situation, the Lord is often not interested in a quick fix.
We often want to take the shortest route out of our problems.
Or we see the only answer to our problem is for our situation to change.
But God is more interested in training us, refining us, disciplining us, and gaining Himself glory from our lives, than getting us out of a tough circumstance.
And He could very well say for the time being:

“My grace is sufficient for you.”

He may be saying ‘My love, My mercy, My blessings are sufficient for you at this time, while you remain in this tough situation, I am with you.’

2 comments on “Really difficult situations

  1. Oh I just loved this post!!! I’ve read this story countless times and it’s never spoke to me until I read it again with this perspective- she suffered years and years before stepping out in faith to receive God’s healing!

    • Thanks Mel for your comment.
      Yes she certainly reached out in faith.
      Also, because we see just snap shots of people in the Bible we tend to forget their time scales of living year after year.
      Thanks

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