I have started the Genuine Faith Bible Reading Plan, moderated by Christian Author, Rachel Wojo. It was scheduled for March, but I am just finding it, so I started it today. The plan provides Scripture, which encourages those participating to have a belief and faith that is lived out, and not just a knowledge.
The first reading was Luke 8:43-48 (This account is also found in Mark 5:21-43 and Matthew 9:18-26).
43 And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, 44 came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. 45 And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.” 47 When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” Luke 8:43-48 (NASB)
This is the account of a woman who has an “issue of blood,” who has tried everything to have it stopped, and nothing has worked. She has had a “discharge of blood” for 12 years. 12 YEARS! Now, this first reading hits very close to home for me. And I have to tell you, I just can’t even imagine what 12 years of endurance would be like. I have always had a struggle with my feminine cycles. The longest cycles I have had in my life have lasted for about 6 months, and those were very difficult times, physically and emotionally. I can’t imagine having that situation during Bible times. In this time in history, in the Jewish life, women were considered “unclean” during their cycle. Many of you have heard of the “red tent,” the place women could live together “outside the camp” during this time. But for a woman to be considered unclean by a community, was to be an outcast. In Mark, we see that she had spent “all that she had” with physicians and nothing had helped, but she had grown worse.
My heart breaks for her. My body and mind cannot even fathom the turmoil and suffering she must have gone through. She was at her wit’s end. She had nowhere else to turn. Have you ever found yourself so worn, hurt, worry that you felt like you were at the end of your rope. This woman had put her hope in other people (physicians), material goods (money to pay for those physicians), and was only left to herself. But then, she heard of Jesus, His healing miracles, and she placed her hope in Him. She had so much hope and faith, she fought through a crowd and was only able to reach the hem of his cloak. Christ felt power leave from Him, and her illness was healed immediately. When questioned, she faced Him with fear and trembling and fell before Him and told Him the truth. And in that instant, her hope and faith in Christ was met with peace. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
What a miracle! This is a great example of this woman, this outcast, sick, and hopeless, turning to Christ and placing her hope and faith in Him. My prayer is that I can remember to have this kind of faith, to reach for Him in times of need, and know, with confidence, that if I only have enough fortitude to reach out to Him, His power will heal.
*My JPEG Picture was made with graphics from Dreamn4everDesigns and BlueCatDesigns. These were part of the WeBelieveBlogTrain for digital scrapbookers. It was in the train named “Faithful.”