July 31, 2012
When the Soul Bleeds
[Jesus said] “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering” (Mark 5:31-34 NIV).
Friend to Friend
When we read the story of Jesus healing the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, it is hard for us twenty-first century women to imagine such a condition lasting for so long. Medical science has progressed far beyond the rudimentary knowledge of Jesus’ day. It is simply unthinkable today.
But I suggest there are still many women with chronic bleeding of a different sort. We bleed from the heart.
From the time Sarah was six-years-old, her father crept into her bedroom in the dark of night and violated her little body. Now, as an adult, her heart bleeds.
When Beth was walking to her dorm room from the college library, a lurker jumped from behind the bushes, dragged her to a nearby shed and raped her at knife-point. Now, ten years later, her heart bleeds.
After twenty-years of marriage, Lucy accidentally stumbled upon an in-town hotel receipt in her husband’s wallet. Suspecting the worse, she uncovered past e-mails, supposed meetings that never occurred and a trail of deceit. When presented with the evidence, her husband admitted to having a three-year long affair. And her heart bleeds.
Laura was laid off from her job and her mother’s words re-emerge like sewage leakage from an underground septic tank. “You’re no good. You’ll never amount to anything. You’re a loser just like your father.” And because of the lies, her heart bleeds.
Melissa holds her newborn little girl in her arms and coos her to sleep. Interrupting the sweetness of the wee hours of the morning, she hears her aborted child crying from the grave. Guilt presses down as the ever-present weight deflates her joy. And her heart bleeds.
Women - hoping the pain will go away. Awakening each day with a memory that cuts a fresh wound. Women-longing to hear the words, “Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
The woman with the issue of blood was no different from you and me. While her apparent illness was physical, her inward suffering ruled her life. She had lost her family, all her money, and her standing in the community. She was viewed as an unclean, untouchable outcast. But in one radical moment, one momentous decision, she reached out to Jesus and grabbed hold of her healing.
He wants to set you free from your suffering, but he will not push you out of the jail cell or yank the chains off your neck. He unlocks the door, but you must walk out the door. He unlocks the chain, but you must stop wearing them around your neck.
We can choose to bleed. We can choose to remain in our suffering and pick at the scabs of the past. But hear me dear friend, it is a choice. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). That’s what he wants for each of us. But we have to embrace the truth and, like the woman with the twelve-year-bleeding, reach for our healing.
In John, chapter five, Jesus encounters a lame man sitting by a pool of water where the paralyzed, blind, and afflicted gathered. Then Jesus walked up to him and asked a strange question, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6b).
Perhaps it wasn’t such a strange question. Many times we get used to being emotionally sick, and we wear the sickness like a shroud. We become walking wounded, picking at emotional scabs – not allowing them to heal.
Jesus said to the woman, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” That is the same healing he offers to you and to me. What will you do?
Dear God, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I reach forward today, touch the hem of Your garment, and receive my healing. Yes, I want to get well. Give me the faith to walk in freedom and victory.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Is there pain in your life that you have refused to let go of?
Do you want to get well?
That is a risky question. It took a lot for the man who had been lying by the pool to get up off that pallet. He had to learn how to walk, get a job, and learn to live like a healthy person. That’s a big change after 38 years. But you can do it! You can let go of the past and begin to live in victory and freedom! Let’s start today!