Distraction of Disease

Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. Matthew 9:22

She had been suffering from chronic pain for twelve years. The bleeding not only had weakened her but it had also isolated her from society. In those days, a bleeding woman was considered unclean and separated from all humanity. The loneliness and isolation led to depression, and it was heading towards hopelessness. But then, she heard about this Teacher, a man of God. 

Everyone was talking about His healing powers, and He was coming to her town. She wanted to go and was confident He could heal her. Yet she was unsure if she had the strength to travel even the short distance to the town square. So she thought about it and decided it was her only chance to regain healing and hope. 

She dragged herself through the crowds. Everyone was clamoring to get near to this Jesus. It seemed impossible, but she told herself,  

“If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed” (Matthew 9:21)The desire to just touch His cloak became stronger. The crowd relentlessly knocked her down, yet she continued to crawl through the maze of arms and legs. Finally, she caught sight of the robe again. The closer He came, the more the kicks and pushes of the desperate crowd increased her distance. She mustered all her strength, but her energy was fading fast. Stretching out her arm through the mob, she strained just to touch a piece of that fabric. And then it happened…

It was as if a wave of cool water flowed through her veins and muscles, for immediately, the pain drained out of her body. Strength returned to her, and the bleeding immediately stopped. She wanted to quietly slip out of the crowd and return home, but the Teacher’s voice stopped her in her tracks. 

“Who touched me?’ Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

            But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” (Luke 8:45, 46)

It was at this time that she knew she could not go unnoticed. She had to come forward. 

The woman came trembling and fell at His feet. In the presence of the multitude, she told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed. Then He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:47, 48) 

When I read this story, I wondered if I would have the faith and strength that this woman demonstrated in her quest for healing. I know Jesus continues to heal many people from many afflictions today. But would my faith heal me? 

Then I question – What causes one person to experience healing from the disease over another? I know miracles continue to occur, and faith is an essential foundation. But I also know that not every person of faith experiences healing. 

I have witnessed several friends succumb to the ravages of a disease attacking their bodies. One friend I visited regularly shared, “I would love to be the woman that Jesus heals, but who am I to question the will of God? Who knows? Maybe His healing for me is the freedom that heaven brings.” 

I learned so much from my sister in Christ as I witnessed her devout faith in action. I watched her courageously fight through many difficult months, sometimes doing the impossible. I remember our last conversation as we prayed for her children.

Having known her makes me ask myself daily, where is my faith? From what do I need to be healed? Diseases attack us in many forms. Is my faith strong enough to accept any outcome?

Dear Jesus, I give you praise and glory for the ways You work in the lives of Your people every day, for the blessings You bestow on us so lavishly. Guide my mind and heart when I fail to see Your hand working in the lives of those I love and uphold in prayer. Strengthen my ability to pray unceasingly and not be distracted by outward circumstances. Help my faith to grow and develop like the woman in the crowd. Amen

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