Wednesday, May 21, 2008

jesus and the hemorrhagic woman

I have not posted on here in some time and just as a forewarning this is going to be a long post, but God has been teaching me a lot lately and I want to share with all of you. First, there is a song by Natalie Grant called Our Hope Endures, and in it there is a phrase that says: “walk a mile with a women whose body whose torn with illness but she marches on”. The song goes on to say: “our hope endures the worst of conditions, its more than our optimism; let the earth quake our hope is unchanged.” For whatever reason that song led me to the story of the hemorrhagic woman being healed. Natalie Grant gave me this picture of the her walking in the crowd that day with a purpose. She marches on, her hope endures and ultimately it led to her healing. I have read that passage in the NIV, ESV, and the Message just trying to understand what she was going through, what she was feeling, and what exactly happened that day. I like the way the message puts in in Luke 8 and here is what is says:

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?"

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. Jesus said, "Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!"

God had so much more to say to me besides that the woman’s hope never failed. Notice first here that it says she had this affliction for 12 years. Can you imagine bleeding for 12 years? I’ve heard people preach on this before and say that she was literally cut off from the church b/c she could not enter the temple to even be in the parts of it where women were accepted. Today, while we aren’t excluded from the church because of our sin, I have let my battle with food hold me back in so many ways in my spiritual life. It really is sad.

Second, it says that she had “spent every penny on doctors but none had been able to help her” How much of my resources—my money, my time, my thoughts—have I invested especially in the area of weight loss to find something/anything that will cure me of my weightloss problem and nothing has worked? How many of us have afflictions or sins that we have invested in everything we have to stop sinning, everything that is but Jesus?

Third, notice she slipped in from behind and just touched the hem of Jesus robe. She slipped in from behind. She didn’t want anyone to notice her. She wanted to keep her 12 year problem a secret but she wanted to be healed and she knew Jesus was the one who could do it. This women knew that she didn’t even need all of Jesus, just a little part of him. She knew that he was so powerful that just his hem of his robe had enough power to heal her. Oh us of little faith, just the smallest bit of Jesus is all we need. He is more than sufficient!

Fourth, when she was healed and Jesus felt that power had left him and he stopped and demanded to know who had touched him, she realized that she couldn’t remain hidden. This bleeding women who for 12 years had been trying everything to be healed so that she could be entered into the fellowship of God in the temple. This woman who probably had dodged so many questions as to why she wasn’t going to the temple, etc all because of her affliction, was now going to have to be noticed. In that moment she knelt before Christ and the WHOLE CROWD and here it says, “she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at the same moment she was healed.” I think this is the part that really spoke to me. I have mentioned before how part of the weight gain was to keep me “hidden” from the world. I have maybe even tried to down play this weight loss. BUT, I see it clearly here that the “crowd” needs to know my struggle and they need to see how it all turns out. Christ deserves the credit and the glory and the honor of the work he is doing in me. I should be “blurting” my story out to all who will hear.

Last, Christ leaves us with this—“live well, live blessed” I intend to do just that. I am blessed because God has been doing so much in my life right now. I’m still at the halfway mark to my next 10% and while I may not make it to my goal by July 7. I do know that I have made so much progress in the last year!! Thank you all for your prayers. No matter what happens, I have lost 45 pounds since Labor day 2007J

There is just so much power in knowing that Jesus died for me, for all of me—I’m truly at a loss for words to express how I feel about this. I pray that each of you who read this will be encouraged to “blurt out” your own struggles so that Christ’s kingdom can be furthered!!