“And Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples. And behold, a woman which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment. For she said within herself, “If I may but touch His garment, I shall be made whole.” But Jesus turned Himself about, and when He saw her He said, “Daughter be of good comfort, thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.” Matthew 9:19-22
There comes a time in everyone’s life when change is the optimum word; it is the only word worthy of reference in a life filled with regrets. We know it the moment it occurs. It is a pivotal moment in time where, the only thing you know for sure is that, everything in your life needs to change in order for you to feel as if your life is expressing God’s desire for wholeness.
For some people, it will be the move from fame to obscurity. For others, it will be from obscurity to fame. There will be those among you who will scream—to the country! And, there will be those who will balk at the idea of seeing yet another tree in their midst. It doesn’t matter what it is; at some point we will need change to offset that numb feeling so many of us experience at various points in our lives. To be truthful, many times it begins at home, on the job, or in a relationship. There seems to be a spiritual catalyst that propels us forward to the point where our X and Y axis meet; it determines whether we continue going on a specific path to the future, or make a U-turn at the next crossroad ahead. Either way, change is imminent.
To be certain, the catalyst that determines your change will be different than the factor that determines change for the next person. It can be radical change; the type that places you in direct opposition to the life you are currently experiencing. Or, it can be the kind of change that simplifies your life so that you can experience the beauty in and around you. It’s as if we espy an epic glimpse into our own future, where after viewing it, we simply say “No! This is not the life I want!”
We can imagine that after living with an endless menstrual cycle for twelve years, the woman with the issue of blood in Matthew 9:19-22, was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. For the women reading this, we have a unique insight into this issue; five days is already much too long, so imagine 12 years of non-stop bleeding. As for the men, imagine how emotionally edgy women become during their five day cycle; now, imagine 12 years. This woman was ready for a change! -And, we can imagine that the people who loved her, needed a change too! But, stepping out on faith is no easy task; it takes perseverance and stamina. And to be certain, in her story, the Bible indicates exactly what kind of perseverance and stamina we need.
At a time when women were considered non-citizens, she would have had to stay behind the men and boys pressing forward to see Jesus first. And, in her effort to meet Jesus, we can imagine her in the crowd, waiting to see even a glimpse of Jesus while grappling with others within the multitude also needing to be healed. Like so many dreams, she is pushed aside, moved to the back, and shoved out of the way. -Yet change is nearby; close enough to see, but not close enough to touch.
There is some historical reference modern-day readers must acknowledge. Priests were not supposed to go near the sick, dying, or dead; it defiled their anointing. The elite rarely interacted with the poor, sickly, or diseased, unless it was a member of their family; and The Poor, -well...they had their own issues. As part of the law, the chronically ill were to isolate themselves from the healthy. And, keeping sickly and diseased people isolated at a time when they needed others the most was easy; no one wanted them around. So, we can imagine, it is with some trepidation that this woman ventures into the crowd to begin with; not wanting to touch anyone in the crowd lest she be ridiculed, but needing a radical change.
In Luke 8:42, the Bible says, she spent all her money on others who could not heal her. With free help a touch away, all she had to do was release her fears and simply reach out to God to change her life. You know the rest of the story; her faith in Jesus to enact change in her life, radically changes her life, allowing her 12 year old dream of being healed to finally come true. -What’s your story? Will you allow your life to stay buried because of fear? Will you allow fear to inhibit the plan God has for your life? Or, will you embrace Jesus, the X-factor; and step out into wholeness with God as your guide? L.
Study Reference: Matthew 9:19-22, Luke 9:42-48
From: "There Comes A Time." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions for Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell