“Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.” Matthew 9:20-22
I cannot recall two other verses that have withheld so much depth and truth than these. A story of a woman who now has taught me another lesson of willingness, identity, and redemption.
This morning as I was spending some much need rest and refreshment with the Lord, I was reminded of this story. And as I cried out to the Lord for this season of my life, this thought crossed through my mind and penetrated my heart, “Am I as willing to fight through the busyness – the mundane, as she was through the crowd that hated her?”
A question that stopped me in my random dance routine that only God ever gets to bear witness to. This question, that after re-reading the scripture, gave me a deeper glimpse into this woman than I had ever seen before.
This woman was not someone who had a large community. Because she was seen as “stained,” she could only function alone because of her disease. Alone for 12 years. It’s horrific to think about for a ‘woo’ personality as myself – that alone is nothing I can imagine. And yet, she still went. She still was willing to fight through a crowd who hated her, because she knew at the end she would be met by a Savior who loved her. And it says that she touched the “edge of his garment..” Which means she was most likely crawling. On the ground. And because she went – because she was willing to take a low position – she then was given a position higher than she could ever imagine. A position to be a miraculous story that is still told 2000 years later.
And all because she believed enough to say, “If I only..” But then not only believe it, but then act on it – she was healed. She not only was healed physically, but I believe a deeper healing happened on that journey to the synagogue.
God spoke to her and first identified her – “Take heart, daughter.” He saw her. He knew her story. And in this it makes me think, was he the first to speak to her in 12 years? Maybe it wasn’t 12 years – or maybe it was just a year, or a few months. But was He the first one to acknowledge her for who she was, not what situation she was in? Do you know someone like this – or is this you? Where people see you, but do they see you for what you do, or for who you are, or you might not be yet?
Friends – Church – this was Jesus. He saw people for who they could be, not what they had done wrong or what wrong had been done to them. I can speak from experience, that when God showed up at that Starbucks in Plano, Texas on January 3, 2013 and called me “His,” for the first time I believed it and my entire life was changed. No longer was I defined by what had happened to me, how I grew up, or even what I hadn’t accomplished – but then at that very moment, I was a recipient of fully receiving my full identity of a daughter of the King of Kings, apart of a family within the Kingdom of God. The identity that I didn’t need to try and earn my inheritance, but simply receive it. This identity that I believe she also found that day – that breaks chains, brings the dead to life, and immediately breaks the disease of a 12 year old blood condition and redeems a woman had since been unseen – suddenly, was seen. You see, identity not only heals – it redeems.
It’s a word thrown around a lot, but do we fully see it. I pray that in this story you really see it. You see how in an instant, a woman who was rejected for 12 years because of a disease, was immediately given access to be accepted. Not because she desired acceptance by man, but because she desired healing by her Savior. What a powerful testament of what salvation looks like. We have this opportunity, to willingly push ourselves through the crowds of our lives – whatever/whoever that is – and fight for our identity and fight for redemption. Fight to push past rejection, hurt, pain, and ridicule all to meet our Savior there, ready and willing himself, to say, “Take heart, son or daughter, for your faith has healed you.”
And now, because I blog and because I love sharing scripture that wrecks my heart, I write the same thing to you. Would you do the same? Are you doing the same? What is it in our lives that we need to say, “If I only go, do, try, speak…” What would happen? What healing would happen – would it be our identity being aligned to who God says we are – and not what the world says we should be? Would be redemption in that part of your heart that you’ve been seeking rescue in for so long? Ask yourself – what is your ending to this sentence, “If I Only _________, I will be healed.”
This my friends is why these 2 verses remain in the bible filled with thousands of other verses. God desires us to be willing so that He can make us whole. So as you contemplate this in your life, be encouraged by this woman. One day, on the other side, I pray I get to hug her and tell her how much her story of faith, sacrifice, and perseverance taught a 26 year old young woman how to be willing to fight for redemption. I pray you are encouraged and that as you pray, that you hear our Savior’s sweet, still, confident voice saying, “take heart, my son – my daughter, for your faith has healed you.”