And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I will be made well." And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my garments?" And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, "Who touched me?" " And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease." (Mark 5:25-34 ESV, emphasis mine)I love this story. It is so raw. Her suffering is tangible while her faith is ethereal. Beautiful, raw, and real.
I relate a lot to this story also. And I don't want to put myself in her position or even begin to claim that I know suffering as she does but I can relate a lot and find peace and hope in this story. In this story about a woman who is dying of a disease that brings disgrace and shame. About a woman who is nameless, one in the crowd, hidden - but becomes found and gets named Daughter.
This Daughter of the King had been suffering for 12 years. 12 years of abandonment, fear, closeness to death, and hopelessness. We are told she went to many doctors, tried many remedies, and spent all she had. She became desperate. Where she had placed her hope in, ended up being dry. Taking rather than giving. Leaving her worse off than when it all began. For 12 years... Her hope for healing was in the remedies and not the Healer. Her hope was in what could be seen, what was tested and true, what could be bought and not in Him.
I don't believe this retelling of the Daughter's story is to warn us about medicine or devalue the healing it can bring about. I strongly believe that God can work through medicine to provide miracles. That He does that all the time but we often take the glory for ourselves... Hope in what we can do for ourselves and not what He has provided... But that is a different story.
Like this Daughter, I have tried remedy after remedy. Had opinion after opinion. And haven't been cured. My journey has been less than a year, but it feels like almost all I have known. I cannot remember what it feels like to have strength and vitality flowing through my blood but I know that it will feel glorious when that time comes. And His Daughter, she felt that. She went from utter weakness to full strength - immediately. All it took was for her to reach out to Him for the healing to come.
She trusted that if she all but reached out to Him, she would be made whole. She believed what she had heard about Him and took a step of huge faith.
And in doing so, she proclaimed Him as her refuge and hope. And you know what, it didn't matter that He was her last hope. That she had tried everything else she could do before coming to Him. He still became her sure refuge, hope, and peace.
And He called out to her.
He sought after her, looked for her in the crowd, and tenderly asked, "Who touched me?"
He doesn't ask angrily or condemn her for not asking Him. He speaks to her with encouragement. He commends her. For she had faith.
But she comes to Him with fear and trembling. She falls before Him. Humbles herself before Her King for she knew what He, and He alone did for her. And she tells Him everything. Tells Him things that shouldn't be mentioned in public, if at all. And let alone to the King of kings.
Tells Him of all her suffering and that she believed if she could just touch Him that He could heal her. And He listened to her. To everything she had gone through. Everything she had dealt with and called her Daughter. Not before but after all of this.
Giving her reason to leave in peace and healing - not just physically but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And she can leave having every reason to be triumphant because of what He did for her.
And you know, even though I have reached out to Him, cried out to Him for healing, and I haven't felt immediately well, this story still comforts. For I know I serve a God who cares, who listens to the girl in the crowd, who seeks the girl who is suffering, and can heal her and make her whole.
And really, He already has. He has already come and given me the greatest healing. He has taken me out of death and brought me to life. He reaches down and wants to pull us all into life with Him. To make us whole and to make us His precious Daughter.
So because of that I can hope. I can hope in Him that one day I will be whole again. That I can have peace because He reaches out and holds me. Even if the healing doesn't come.