For she said within herself, 'If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole'. Matthew 9:24 (KJV)
The woman who had an issue of blood was considered unclean. The religious Jewish culture of the day meant she was separated from her family. She had no human touch. She was banned from religious activity. This was her reality for twelve years. She had suffered from all her physicians' attempts to make her well. She had spent every dime she had trying to find a cure. Can we learn some lessons from her journey?
The woman with the issue of blood was led by the Holy Spirit to position herself for healing. She journeys out of her house to find a cure. She moves, quietly, inspirationally, and passionately by the leading of God. Her Heavenly Father carries her in the direction of Jesus. There is, however, no verbal evidence at this point in the story that she is a believer.
Her actions speak of her belief. She drags her disenfranchised body into the crowd in search of healing. Although she is weak and weary, the woman moves through the crowd with a grief-stricken hopefulness that pushes her beyond the boundary of her physical condition. Her walk into the crowd is a protest against the issue that betrays her. As she moves to change her condition, she hopes and prays, ‘If only I can touch the hem of His garment’.
It is important to note that the woman's community does not seem to notice, sense or embrace her existence. They do not realize that by her weaving in and out among them, they too become unclean. Her focus is Jesus. For all she knows, this encounter with Jesus will be a quick, unnoticed, one-way meeting. She soon learns you cannot go unnoticed by God. No matter the chaos. No matter the issue. She realizes very quickly that Jesus engages those who encounter Him, especially one who draws power from Him.
And Jesus immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, 'Who touched my clothes?' Mark 5:30 (KJV)
This woman seeks to be born again by merging her infirmed, unclean body with the cloak of Jesus. She had hope. Hope energized her to leave her home and go into the crowd because Jesus was there.
Take heart Daughter. I don't know where you are today and the place you find yourself, but the truth that I read in this scripture is that Jesus is relentless when someone is seeking Him. When we recognize our sin nature, or a pressing need that we have, being determined enough to "crawl" to Jesus will result in an answer. By going to the bottom of ourselves, we are able to get up. The irony in this healing moment is that it was not the touching that actually healed the woman. It was, as Jesus said, the touch of "faith that… made her whole." Luke 8:48 (KJV)
Dear Lord and Savior, how wonderful You are to Your children. How glorious to know that You pursue us when we seek even to touch the hem of Your garment. And so, dear Lord, may we be willing to push beyond what seeks to hold us back and by faith find our way to You. Your unending, enduring love will always welcome us. Give us the courage to live beyond our self-imposed boundaries and respond to the voice of Jesus. In His name I pray, Amen.