Encounter God

By Christina Ford  |  August 16, 2019

 

Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped. And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”
When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.
And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

Luke 8:43-48 NKJV

It was not pleasant for this woman to be in that condition. The sickness alone caused her much suffering, pain, and embarrassment. And to make matters worse, those who were meant to help caused her to suffer more. I wonder if she ever lifted her eyes to heaven and cried, “God, why would you allow this if you really loved me?” I can hardly think I wouldn’t have. I wonder how many nights she lay awake, unable to sleep because of the ache deep down in her heart, and the question ever present on her mind, “Am I forsaken by God?” But then, she reaches for Jesus garment, if only just the hem, and she receives life, vigor, healing.

It’s not the healing so much that holds me in awe; Jesus healed lots of people. What I am awed by is a God that stops a grand parade, to look into those desperate eyes and say, “I see you. You know all those tears you’ve cried? I’ve cried each one with you. In the midst of your pain and suffering, you have not been forsaken.” Though on his way to an urgent appointment, he has the time to stop everything and acknowledge one who has reached out in desperation.

In her beautiful book called Daring to Hope, Katie poses this question: “Certainly, 12 years of sickness and being completely ostracized is not desirable, but to have Jesus Himself look into her eyes—was it worth it?”

My heart cries yes.

There were so many in that crowd trying to see Jesus. Probably many were hoping for a special acknowledgment from Jesus. But there were thousands more that were not in that crowd. They were busy with other things. They felt no need of Him, so they missed the opportunity to have Jesus, the King of Heaven, their God, look into their eyes and speak a blessing directly upon them.

Katie says, “The woman with the issue of blood never would have reached for Jesus so desperately had she not been bleeding.” She too would have been passed by with only a casual look at the Savior. Or worse, she would have missed Him altogether. If we could speak to the woman today, I’m sure she’d tell us that her greatest suffering was worth it because it led her to desperately seek Jesus, and that only that act of desperation garnered the blessing from the lips of her Savior.

Friend, are you suffering? Are you experiencing pain, ostracization, suffering? Have you asked God why you? Have you wondered in despair if you are forsaken, forgotten, or invisible to God? Seek desperately after Jesus. Don’t let Him pass you by and only catch a casual look at your Savior. Even if you’re only able to reach for the hem of His garment, we have evidence that He will stop the world’s spinning to acknowledge you. If your pain can be the means by which you encounter God, it will be worth every throbbing moment.

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Christina Ford