Today I have a poor, coughing little girl who needs me to stay home from work to take care of her. Oh, so sad. NOT!Woohoo! Jumping and dancing for joy...feeling guilty for being so happy when my girl is sick but I get to be with her all day! Yippee!
God was busy this weekend. Not only was yesterday a super fun day thanks to good friends who spent hours of their time taking school pictures for my kiddos, but Saturday I went to Women of Faith. Yeah, not my normal idea of a good time, but I am so glad I went! I went with my buddy, Cindy, and every time a speaker would get up and start to announce their topic- we would just look at each other and say "You have GOT to be kidding!" because it was so exactly what we both needed to hear. You know, everything is all about me, and the producers of Women of Faith must have read my journal and scripted this year's program just for me. :)
It was a great mountain top experience, and my prayer is that God would use this energy, this push I feel in my soul, all year long. I seriously wrote down 13 God Stops over the weekend, and maybe He gave those to me so I can "keep on, keepin' on" through whatever is coming. A little nerve wracking to think about, but also bearable- because God is more than big enough to handle it. :)
One of the best things about the weekend was a song that Nicole C. Mullen did called "One Touch". She had written this based on a story about a "Woman with an Issue". It's told in 3 of the gospels, but I especially like the way Mark tells it in chapter 5. His seems to be the most complete picture, and I think the one Nicole drew from. Now, we have already probably read this story a million times, but I am praying you read it again with new eyes, friend. Let it sink into your soul. :)
This woman had basically had a nonstop period for 12 years....ladies- TWELVE YEARS. Can you imagine? Anyways, she so desperately wanted to be healed, and been to doctor after doctor, spent every dime she had on treatments, and still...no cure. In fact, the story says her bleeding had gotten WORSE.
In those days, when a woman was bleeding, she was declared unclean until her time was up, then she would go offer a sacrifice at the temple and be allowed to return to her family. Well, this woman was never able to do that because the flow didn't stop. Anytime she needed to enter an area with people, she had to call out "Unclean! Unclean!" So everyone could get out of her way, and thus not be "defiled"- or morally impure, blemished, stained. Ugh, I can't even imagine.
So this woman bore the shame and isolation of her disease for 12 years, and then she heard of a teacher named, Jesus. And the Bible says she went and found Him amongst a crowd, and thought to herself, "If I just touch His garments, I will get well." Can you picture her? Veil around her, creeping through the people she shouldn't be touching, breaking their societal law by not announcing her condition. Terror at what she was about to do, fear at what could happen if the crowd noticed her, desperation for it to work. The words actually say she was "trembling". Yet, she had such faith that if ONLY she could touch His jacket, He could heal her. Oh, my heart breaks when I think of it. Imagine being 12 years without a hug from your father, brother, husband, son. Without the soft touch of a baby's hand because you didn't want to "dirty" them. No kiss, no physical contact from the ones who mean the very most to you.
Get this: she snuck up behind Him (rockin' brave girl!) and "Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction." Yeah, yeah- seriously, read that again!!! Now, working with the types of patients that I do- I know what someone looks like when they are chronically low on blood. I know what they FEEL like when they don't have enough red blood cells to oxygenate their organs. This woman had been pallid, cold, weak and exhausted, and probably in pain, for TWELVE years, and in one moment- she felt strength in her arms and legs, her breathing grew easier and she probably had rosy cheeks for the first time in over a decade! God be praised! Can you picture it? Oh, hallelujah!
You haven't even reached the best part! This all happens, she gets the lighting bolt of awe when she FEELS the change within her, and then- Jesus turns around and says, Who touched me? Hehehehe In a pushing, jostling crowd- He says, Who touched my coat? You see, he felt the "power" that was a part of Him go out, and knew someone had been healed. Remember- this chick snuck up on a Jewish rabbi and touched Him while she was still unclean, He could have had her imprisoned or killed. Now the dude was staring her down. Great. She was face to face with Her God...the One who rescued her from a lifetime of misery...hell on earth, so to speak. You have to hear it the way God said it: "But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the WHOLE TRUTH." Mark 5:33 Yet another great thing about knowing Jesus, you can be real with Him.
Looking into His face, fearing rejection but overjoyed with thanksgiving for being free of disease...oh, what did she feel like? What did her eyes say? I can't even picture it...but I know what God said. "Daughter, your faith has made you well..." He offered her complete and total healing, not only of her "issue", but of her heart. He was the first friendly face in years. These are the times I wish the Bible was longer. I wish it was a picture book, with an awesome Kodak snapshot of what Jesus's face looked like. I KNOW He was smiling at her and offering her his hand- his touch.
I've got issues...as you well know if you know me. Mine might be easier to cover up, but they are there. What an amazing promise to know that when I am at my most humiliated and terrified, God won't turn me away...and He will offer me complete healing. Mmmmmm...what an awesome God we serve.
To have a faith like that- believing the impossible, with more courage than a mother bear protecting her cubs, putting one foot in front of the other in spite of the world's opinion- and letting God change your whole life. Make it so, Father God, make us all just a little more like her. To come to you with nothing but our faith as a garment.
Check it out for yourself- Mark 5:25-34. And be amazed at the awesome One who adores you. (I also put the song on my playlist, so hope you enjoyed it.) God bless you today.