Another desperate day dawned. This was one of her “bad” days, a day she would have normally spent in bed, reserving her strength. But she had heard that a Healer was coming through her town. She gathered her resolve while she redressed her bloody wound. Maybe today he would heal her, as he had healed others. Maybe this would be the last day she would feel desperate.
Twelve long years had passed. After her husband died, she grieved. She missed him so much, but she took comfort in knowing all her needs would be met. He had been successful, and he had saved so much to take care of her. She thanked God again for his memory.
Only a few months after his passing, she woke up with a flow of blood that wouldn’t stop. Each time she covered it with a bandage, thinking it would dry up. But every time, she saw that bright red blood when she lifted the cover. She tried to make a salve from healing herbs, but it didn’t help. That’s when her desperation began.
She asked one doctor to take a look, but he couldn’t provide answers. She traveled to many surrounding towns, searching for answers from other doctors, but no one understood the reason. They prescribed expensive treatments, but nothing helped.
Each doctor visit required more money. She had sold off their animals, tools, furniture, dishes, and even treasures like her husband’s staff and the beautiful bracelet he had given her. She had very little left now. Little money, little hope, little time. The last doctor said the bleeding was getting worse, and she would die soon if it didn’t stop.
The flow of blood cut her off from community. She was ceremonially unclean, so she couldn’t visit the temple anymore. People who once respected and included her had shut her out. The flow of blood had cost far more than her money and her health. It had stolen her joy.
She struggled to get out of bed, but managed to get dressed and hide the wound under her robe. She set out on her journey with resolve. She thought, “I don’t even have to speak with him. I don’t want to interrupt him. Perhaps if I simply touch the hem of his robe, I will be healed.”
So many people were coming down from the hillsides, crowding the path. In their excitement they ignored her, bumping past in their rush. She walked with a stoop from pain and exhaustion. Everyone else towered over her. She followed the voices, listening to the Healer preach his stories. His voice gave her new hope.
Yes, she was closer now. She could see a group of his followers encircling him. If she could just reach down by their feet, they wouldn’t even see her. She’d be gone before they knew it. There it was, the hem of his robe. Her hands trembled as she reached out for it.
As soon as his robe brushed her fingertip, she was infused with strength. She felt like a child again, healthy and vigorous. She felt alive and overjoyed. Now she knew she was saved. Praise bubbled up in her heart!
Suddenly the Healer asked, “Who touched my robe?” Her joy turned to fear. She stayed low, even though she didn’t need to stoop anymore. His followers tried to tell him it was impossible to know, in the size of the crowd. But the Healer knew. Somehow she knew he was calling her to come out of hiding. A tremor of fear shook her whole body and propelled her to his feet. The crowd hushed.
She dared not look at him when she told him why she had come. She could hardly suppress her joy as she described her healing after twelve long years, but her fear still held her down.
When he said to her, “Daughter,” she lifted her face to look at him. She saw gentle eyes, full of grace and kindness and peace. She heard the love in his voice.
When was the last time she had been called Daughter? Years and years ago, by her loving father. A memory flashed in her mind. She had run to the field to bring him a drink, and her father gratefully cupped her face in his hands. He had said, “Daughter, you are a blessing.”
For twelve years she had felt like a burden, but this Healer saw her as a blessing.
Then he said, “Your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
His words washed an unfamiliar, wonderful peace over her soul. She felt loved, cherished, affirmed. Not only healed in body, but healed in spirit.
This Healer, the one they call Jesus, had given her new life. She would tell everyone she knew.
Have you been a desperate woman? Have you spent all you had, looking for healing? I have never had a physical ailment like this woman described in Matthew 9 and Mark 5. Yet I have spent several seasons in desperation.
As a child of divorce, I had a flow of need that couldn’t be stopped. I craved attention and affection, looking for it wherever I could find it. I spent most of my time, energy, and resources searching out love that eluded me for decades.
In my thirties I finally received healing through therapy and Bible study. I understood that the kind of love I’d been searching for so desperately could only be found in a relationship with Jesus. My human relationships could go only so far. I needed Jesus to give me the limitless attention and boundless love I craved.
Jesus has called me “Daughter” too. He has commended me for my faith, saying it was the path to healing. He ended my days of emotional suffering. He gave me peace to move forward.
If you are desperately searching for healing, be brave and put yourself at Jesus’ feet like the woman in this story. He is waiting to heal you with a simple touch. He will put your desperation to rest and give you perfect peace, if you go to him for healing.
Questions for reflection:
What area of your heart is desperate today?
If God has healed you from your desperation, who will you tell this week?
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