The woman coped with a physical problem that made her ‘unclean’ in her culture. For 12 long years she was the object of rejection, her malady causing many to believe she was a sinner and her sickness the judgment of God. I wonder how many tears she shed alone and afraid. Had she started to believe that God had turned His back on her, too? But, then one day there was a flicker of hope, a wisp of faith that stirred her to a choice. She “had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.” The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with.” (Mark 5:27-29, The Message)
Jesus knew this woman’s need went beyond the physical. Her heart needed a touch, too. The rest of the story is, to me, even more wonderful. As the woman tried to slip away, thankful but still ashamed and fearful, He stopped and asked, “Who touched Me?” “His disciples said, “What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you’re asking, ‘Who touched me?’ Dozens have touched you!” But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it. The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story. Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.” (Mark 5:31-34, The Message)
Daughter! Nobody spoke to her with endearing terms like that. But, He, the esteemed Jesus, made it clear to her and the crowd gathered around them that she was a daughter of God, that she was not a reject or worthless. In that moment, she found her complete healing!
So, do you deal with being ashamed, fearful, or guilty?
Christian, even though Jesus has forgiven you, gave you the gift of eternal life, and invited you to ‘’come boldly to the Throne of grace to find mercy,” are you still praying timid prayers, hiding, afraid to accept His love? Perhaps you have been told – with actions if not with words – that “You are too ________ (fill in the blank – ugly, stupid, fat, old, sinful) to be valued.” Maybe you grew up in a home where words of value were rare as diamonds, where criticism was the norm. It may be that you did fail spectacularly at some point, falling into sin. After all this time there are those who remind you of what you did or just maybe you still have a hard time forgiving yourself.
Then, too, perhaps you come from the other side of that equation. With rigid self-discipline, you have pursued accomplishment, controlled your impulses, and made all the right kind of choices. You got the right degree, live in the right neighborhood, married the right person, drive the right kind of car, dress in the right style … Yes, your life is enviable because you ‘have it all together.’ But, you are afraid because that kind of life, built on being better, is just one slip from disaster and you know it. You think that God loves you because you keep on doing more, but you wonder how long it is before you collapse.
Failure or ‘perfect’ (Nobody really is, by the way), God loves you because He is good. The One who knows you best, loves you most! God’s Word assures us that “since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings…” (Romans 5:1-4, NIV) If we receive the grace of God by faith, accepting that we are justified; not excused but completely made ‘just as if we had never sinned,’ we are set free from feelings of shame, worthlessness, and guilt that keep us from running to the arms of our Abba and we actually learn to rejoice in the hard times because He is there with us.
Jesus Christ came to bring you home to your Father. Accept His love. Find freedom to live the ‘abundant life.’
Here is a word from the Word. “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in him. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we are like Christ here in this world. Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us. We love each other as a result of his loving us first.” (1 John 4:16-19, NLT)
Listen He is inviting you to His Table – child of the Heavenly Father!
A Child Of The King
My Father is rich in houses and lands.
He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands.
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,
His coffers are full, He has riches untold.
I once was an outcast stranger on earth,
A sinner by choice and an alien by birth.
But, I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down,
An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown.
A tent or a cottage why should I care?
They’re building a palace for me over there.
Tho’ exiled from home yet still I may sing,
All glory to God, I’m a child of the King!
I’m a child of the King,
A child of the King,
With Jesus, my Savior,
I’m a child of the King!
Harriet Eugenia Peck Buell | John Bunnell Sumner
© Words: Public Domain