It was a bleak fall day, just weeks before Thanksgiving. I was in the first trimester of my fourth pregnancy, when I realized I was bleeding.
“Oh God, please.” I whispered.
A subsequent call to my OB landed me in the office that very afternoon. Hoping for the best and praying against the worst, I swallowed the huge lump in my throat and waited.
The experience of bleeding for a woman is never pleasant, and can sometimes be a sign that something is terribly wrong.
In my pregnancy, the bleeding indicated my greatest horror–that I was miscarrying my precious baby. After that cold, crisp day when my family’s dreams were dashed and our hearts shattered, I reached out to my Abba Father with more passion and fervor than ever before. I refused to allow my situation to make me question the goodness of God.
I remember praying even through my tears,
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)
Even in the midst of my pain, I knew I had to cling to my Savior with everything in me.
One of my favorite New Testament stories is beautifully captured in the story of a woman who suffered greatly–the story of another bleeding woman. If we read the Gospel accounts too quickly, we almost miss it completely.
Mark 5:21 opens with Jesus being approached by a synagogue ruler named Jairus. His daughter is dying, and he pleads earnestly for Jesus to heal her. On his way to Jairus’ house, Jesus is pressed on every side by the large crowd following him.
Enter the bleeding woman:
“And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.” (Mark 5:25-29)
At that very moment, Jesus turns to the crowd and asked who touched him, since he felt that power had gone out from him (vs. 30). After the disciples scratched their heads and wondered how Jesus could ask who touched him in the midst of such a great crowd, the healed woman trembled at his feet and told him everything.
Jesus affirmed her by responding,
“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:34)
Oh, the brave, bold faith of this woman! In the midst of her bleeding and suffering, she reached for Jesus. She had heard of his healing power, and knew that in the midst of such a large crowd, all she had to do was touch the hem of his garment. That would be enough for her.
We all in some way can identify with this woman. Whether we have suffered from chronic pain and disease, or ache from the wounds of a bleeding heart, we all have the opportunity to reach out and touch Jesus.
The Greek word in this passage for touch can also mean “to fasten one’s self to, adhere to, or cling to” (source). No matter what troubling circumstance you may find yourself in, cling to Jesus. The wounds we suffer are real. Sometimes we experience deep pain, debilitating disease, and tragic loss. But in the depths of those dark moments, hold fast to Jesus.
Resolve within your heart to echo the unwavering words of David:
“My souls clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:8
When we reach out the brush our fingertips against he cloak of Christ, we receive healing and wholeness. His strength is released, and we are clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). Jesus alone has the power to heal every wound and bind our bleeding hearts.
Are you in need of his strength today? Reach out and touch the edge of Christ’s garment. There is power, strength, and healing in his hem.Reach out and touch the cloak of Christ. There is power, strength, and healing in his hem. Click To Tweet
We, like the bleeding woman, are in desperate need of a cure for our spiritual and physical ailments. And here’s the good news–Jesus, our Healer and Great Physician, is always on call! Hold onto him tightly, and don’t let go. At times we may have to push through the distractions and “crowds” of this world–but we must get to Jesus. He alone can bring healing, hope and wholeness.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
Hold onto this truth, dear sister, and allow the words of your Savior soothe your soul today.
“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
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