I railed against Him. I screamed, wept, and yelled at Him. I felt alone and I was ready to leave this earth. I couldn’t stand to continue living so sick, in so much pain, and without hope of being healthy. But He gently took my hand and brought me back to Him. He was and is my succor; He made it clear that He is more than enough for me. Through my brothers and sisters in Christ, He made it clear not to give up; He keeps His promises. So, I continued to pray for healing. I continued to thank God for healing me. And I waited to see it manifested.
All the while my health was deteriorating. I was not able to keep water down. I was vomiting in my sleep or “waking up” about ten times a night to vomit whatever it was I had managed to take in over the previous several days. Nothing, I took in was staying in or going down. Finally, after a sleepless night of constant vomiting, I decided to go to the emergency room and get rehydrated. They admitted me. I expected just what happened every time, the would dilate my stomach and it would be okay for a couple of weeks, a month max and then I’d be right back where I was.
But this time when the doctor did the endoscopy, he saw the problem at its worst. Food, pills, and water were backed up all the way into my esophagus. Nothing was going down. He suctioned what he could out, and had the test repeated the following day to get a better look. Then, at long last, the surgery I had known I needed since last summer, the surgery I had needed for years was scheduled.
April 9th, 2017, it was done. My new healthy life could begin. While I was in the hospital I had a conversation with three different visitors who brought up the woman with the issue of blood. Her story is one I can relate to and is told in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Mark 5:21-34 tells her story this way,
And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” 24 And he went with him.
And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 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. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Jesus was on His way to help the daughter of an important man, Jarius. Crowds pressed in on Jesus as He made His way to Jarius’ home. Everyone wanted to glimpse Jesus, to touch Him, and to see and hear this man. The woman was desperate, yet she didn’t feel important enough to take any of Jesus time. She didn’t call out to Him because she assumed, her voice would be just one of many. Her affliction was one which had made her untouchable for twelve years. Women on their menses were unclean. She had been forced to live in virtual isolation for more than a decade. She had not been able to participate in much of the social and religious activities of her day. No man had been allowed to touch her. So, when Jesus was passing by she did the only thing she could. She reached out and in faith that Jesus was the Messiah, she touched the fringe of His robe. She didn’t want to bother Him. She knew that merely touching God would heal her. And He did.
But much to her astonishment, Jesus knew that someone had purposefully reached out and touched Him. She had to be afraid. Touching a man, even just His clothes could get her in serious trouble. But Jesus, didn’t want to chastise His daughter, He wanted to bless her, love her, and encourage her. He knew each and every person of that pressing crowd. He knew exactly who the woman was and why she had reached out to Him. But He asked for her sake. He asked who had touched Him so that she could understand the depth of what had happened, so that all those of her community would know, and so that The Father would be glorified.
Luke 8:47-48 reads,
And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
Salvation begins as a private decision, an answer to a call. But it cannot stay simply a private decision; it requires an act of faith, a profession, and a public affirmation. If the woman had merely believed Jesus could heal her, nothing would have changed. If she had touched Him but refused to declare what had happened in front of her community, who would have been glorified, who would have believed she was healed, and would her life or the life of those in her community have changed? Go ahead, ask God for what it is you need. Yes, He knows your needs and desires, but when you ask, He is able to let you know, He allows you to exercise your faith, He allows the meeting of your needs to encourage those around you and glorify the Father.
Like the woman, I suffered for twelve years. I could barely eat and eventually could eat nothing at all. I bore weakness, frailty, pain, and hunger with no comfort. God promised to heal me and I waited with expectation that any day, any moment, my healing would come. I faltered many times in my faith, but each time a brother or sister would be the heart, hands, and feet of Jesus to me and encourage me to hang in there. I knew I would either be healed soon on this earth or healed perfectly on our Resurrection Day, The Day of the LORD on the New Earth. Either way, I was so sick, so weak, and in such pain that I knew with certainty I could not endure it much longer.
What is it, you are waiting for? What promise has God given you that you haven’t seen come to fruition yet? What are you suffering? Hold on. Don’t give up. Reach out to God and keep the faith as small and fragile as it may be. God will not forget you. 2 Corinthians 1:20 tells us,
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.
I know many people who are waiting for the manifestation of a promise, healing, and peace. I am seeing many of them realize their promises, long awaited jobs and situations, promised children conceived, born, and adopted, illnesses healed, and gifts fanned into flame. We are rejoicing together and we are continuing to pray together for those who are still waiting. This is a time of renewal, rejuvenation, and revival. It is a time of seeds growing to fruit. I know you have waited what seems to be an interminably long time. Oh, my cherished brothers and sisters, reach out, hold on, stand firm, God is glorified in your faith. He does deliver.