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. | Mark 5:25-39
For twelve years, this woman suffered. For twelve years, she searched for a cure, for an end to her suffering. And after twelve long years of failed treatments under the care of unsuccessful physicians, this woman finally met the one true Healer.
Her story is one of faith. Her example is one to follow.
When we approach the throne of grace, are we confident in the Lord’s ability to do whatever we ask? Yes, the Lord is sovereign over all. Yes, God alone gets to decide what will come to pass and what will not. But in our petitioning of the Lord, do we doubt His ability, His power to answer our prayers?
This woman suffered for twelve years. According to Jewish custom, her condition required that she be untouched until the bleeding stopped and cleansing rituals were performed. In her case, however, the bleeding never stopped. Thus, she was broke, gravely ill, and probably lonely. After twelve years in this state, she suddenly had hope. But not just any kind of hope. She had a confident hope:
“If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.”
I can’t imagine that the treatments she endured during her twelve years of bleeding were comfortable, easy, or painless. I’m sure the physicians she saw had some pretty crazy, weird, and not to mention, unsuccessful, treatments (remember, they didn’t have modern medicine back then). Of all the treatments she endured, this one probably made the least sense… and yet, it was the one she was fully confident in.
This woman heard about Jesus, walked up behind Him, and touched His garment. HIS GARMENT, y’all – not His body, but just the clothes He wore. And instantly she was healed. What faith! What incredible faith, that she believed she could just touch a piece of clothing hanging from His body and be healed!
She confidently approached the Lord, and in doing so, she received permanent healing from above. Not just the physical kind, but the spiritual kind too.
And how did Jesus react to this?
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 5:30-34
In the midst of the crowd, in the midst of all the people rubbing shoulders with Him and bumping into Him, Jesus perceived in Himself that power had gone out from Him. Although surrounded by a flock of people, Jesus recognized a humble need, a confident heart.
Friends, know that He is never too busy, never too distracted to notice us. The world may be falling apart, heaven and earth may fall away, the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but even then His steadfast love will never leave us, and His covenant of peace will never be removed (Isaiah 54:10).
This woman approached Jesus, confident in His ability and power to save. Do we share her faith? Do we approach Jesus, confident in His ability and power to rescue us, to perform miracles, to lead us along the right path?
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. | James 1:6
Do we petition the Lord in faith, without doubting? Or are we like waves driven and tossed by the wind?
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. | Matthew 21:22
We may not get what we want. In petitioning the Lord, the answer we receive may be a resounding “no.” But the question here is not whether God gives us everything we ask for simply because we ask Him. The question is this: Do we pray as if we believe that He can and will answer us? Are we confident in His ability and power to save? Do we petition Him IN faith?
Let’s resolve to be like this unnamed woman who received instant attention and healing from the Lord simply because of her faith. She believed He could heal her, and so He did. Imagine the miracles He would work in our lives if we believed that He could. Let’s resolve to pray like we’ll receive it so that in the end, we don’t miss it – so that we don’t miss Him.