As she pressed through the crowds, she drew close to the ground. She searched frantically, desperate to find him and make her way to him through the herd of people. With shoulders hunched forward, she craned her neck first to the right, and then to the left, all without every really lifting her head. She had to take the most efficient and discreet path to him as possible. It was dangerous for her to be here! What if someone were to recognize her? What would she do then? She had heard of the miracles that followed him. Surely, if he could make the blind see, and the deaf hear, then he could stop the bleeding?
She had been alone for so long.
Separated as unclean, she was marked, mocked, and unfairly judged. She was so weak, and so tired. Forced to live life as an unmarried beggar, she had spent all that she had to be healed – but nothing, and no one, had been able to stop the bleeding.
And, then he had arrived.
He was the answer to her future. Somehow, she knew that if she could only touch him…
But, the crowds – they were so thick, and so aggressively determined. It had been a long time since she had been around so many people, and though it was useful for hiding, the noise and movement left her somewhat dizzy. The crowd surged around her more and more, at times causing her to feel as if she could be swallowed up. People pushed in from all sides, stepping on each other, bumping into each other, cutting off one another, and calling out to him.
Wait! Was that-? Panicked, she quickly lowered her head, lest she should be recognized and accused of defiling those around her.
Suddenly she was certain that she caught of the glimpse of his back. With increased determination she hunched lower and pressed forward, pressing through the mass of hurting, lonely, and sick people. Closer and closer she forced her way through, and as she moved forward she imagined reaching out and just grasping hold of his cloak. It had been a long time since she had been this close to others, and she knew the risk she was taking simply by being here, but the hope of her healing compelled her to keep moving forward. As she slowly advanced, she trembled with fear, and her stomach tightened with expectant hope and nervous dread. This was her last hope? What if this failed? What if he failed? What if he could, but just didn’t care? Whenever her thoughts became distracted she would inevitably lose him for a few moments in the crowd. A few times she even fell. Immediately it seemed as if she would be trampled. On the ground, she struggled to get up. But her desire to be safe from trampling feet overcame her fear of being exposed as an unclean among the clean. So, determinedly, but cautiously, she rose. Again, questions regarding her future moved quickly through her mind. What if he could, but simply chose not to heal her? The uncertainty alone was almost enough to cause her to stop pressing, and stop hoping, before she reached him.
But not quite, and so,
with hungry, determined, expectant faith
*(Based on the account recorded in Mark 5:25-34)
Whenever I think about the woman with an issue of blood, minutes before receiving her healing, I become excited. Although I know the outcome of the story, I can relate to the longing for deliverance, and the determination necessary to press through the process of faith. But, mostly, I am overjoyed because I know what she does not – her healing is closer than she realizes.
While she must have experienced a bundle of conflicting emotions in regards to her very personal circumstance, I am on the other side of her breakthrough.
Although she lived over 2000 years ago, I can root for her and cheer her on, because I know she will be victorious. But the woman in this biblical account does not have my historical vantage point.
She did not know that she was only a few steps away from her healer.
All she had was faith.
Often, we are like this woman, moments away from God’s salvation, yet our experience overwhelms us as if we are in the hottest, thickest, bloodiest part of our battle. Our skies seem dark, and our souls are heavily burdened. Though we know that our Healer is near, we struggle with uncertainties that often leave us feeling as if we could become swallowed up, or trampled. The noise and chaos of our situation threatens our peace and leaves us feeling dizzy and unsettled. The painful details of our circumstance multiply again and again and again, until our rehearsed pain presses against us from all sides, leaving us gasping for air, and pressing us lower and lower in shame, fear and doubt.
Armed with only faith and hope, we press steadily toward the One who can rescue us.
We are weak and worn, so sometimes we fall. But, we are determined to reach him, so we stand, and we press, pushing our way through pain, anxiousness, and dread.
And then suddenly we grab hold of Him.
And we are saved.
Sooner than you realize you will look up, and find that you have reached the top, and crossed over.
Like the woman with the issue of blood,
When we are in a season of tribulation, we only have the vantage point of the painful struggle we have endured, and the fear of what lies ahead. But without fail, we who are God’s chosen children, will have the vantage point of the triumph.
Because, God is faithful.
And He does not fail.
For prayer on today’s topic please stop by Daily Hope & a Prayer.
So, for all of you who, like me, feel more like it’s a Wednesday than a Monday, here’s…
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