Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Sick Woman

I have been a sick woman ... but as I type this, I feel the Lord healing me from my sickness.  I've wept this morning as I've reached to heaven with humility asking, "Jesus, please help me!"

Many Christians do not like to be vulnerable with one another.  We are afraid of judgment, disapproval, or careless whispers behind our backs.  We are afraid that we will disqualify ourselves of our "Christian walk" in others' eyes.  We might even be afraid that someone will condescendingly say, "I will pray for you" with empty intentions.

I know.  I've been there.  I still feel this way sometimes.  But you know what's beautiful?  You!  Know what else is beautiful?  There are many Christians who are encouraged so much by vulnerability that their relationship with Jesus is strengthened because they can see the work He does as we open up and talk about our struggles and our triumphs.  We are brothers and sisters, living in the same fallen world, fighting against the same darkness.  We should not be ashamed to confess that we battle against the powers of evil.  Battles are bloody, and battles leave you fatigued... we should not expect anything else (except victory - Jesus already won the war for us).

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
James 5:16

It goes without saying that we will need to ask the Lord for help; we will need the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the power of God.

I want to share a story with you from the book of Mark about a sick woman's encounter with Jesus.  Please do not brush over this, or skim briefly with your eyes.  Read this with your heart.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him [Jesus].  And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.  She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all that she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed."  Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him.  He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"
"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?'"
But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.  Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.  He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."

Mark 5:24b-34

Oh, to be that woman!  To see the face of Jesus and feel His healing from a long-suffered condition!  Can you imagine how humbling, how tear-evoking lovely, how heaven-touching-earth marvelous this must have been?!  I feel her heart thumping wildly inside my own chest, tears streaming down my own face, awe stirring my own spirit.  She was certainly blessed for her faith that day.

But wait ----- we, too, are that woman.  We are daughters and sons of the Living God, and when we put our faith in Him, His power will heal anything that ails us.

This woman bled ... but let me ask you, How are you bleeding?  What is it that ails you today, sweet child of God?  

I will confess that I struggle with anxiety.  I get tight-chested, short-breathed, heart arrhythmia anxiety sometimes because I worry too much!  This certainly took over when I had eating disorders, but general anxiety lingers.  Sometimes I fail to function normally and energetically.  I have known to mercilessly "beat" myself up for small things: forgetting to take the garbage out, not getting laundry done, messing up a lesson plan, not writing in my blog for too long... (!)  It's time to be done.  That's enough.  I want to let Jesus have the power, not the enemy.  In fact, Jesus even tells us not to worry: "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (Luke 12:25)

I've learned that anxiety can be genetic.  I have a line of anxiety on my dad's side of the family that undoubtedly crept its way into my DNA.  However, Jesus trumps even DNA.  I must trust in Him.

Be like the woman who put her full, heart-felt faith in Jesus' healing power.  You can be healed.  Do you believe that?  Whatever it is that you struggle with, He hears your cries every. single. time.  Stop trying to take the power in your own hands, stop letting satan take the power, and allow the One with all the power to show you His mighty ways.  

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:6-7