Life is full of ups and downs; no amusement park roller coaster can beat this ride. It’s full of twists and turns, joyous highs and tragic lows, smooth moments of rest and rough, just-trying-to-make-it-through-with-some-sanity-left days.
There are stretches when hard days go on. And on, and on, and on. When the painful, tragic, unbearable stuff hits us out of nowhere and leaves us lying flat on our backs and fighting for breath. When we wonder if we’ll ever get better. If the fears, the aching, the illness, the loneliness, the heart-break, the sorrow, will ever get better. If we’ll ever be free from this suffering.
I can thinks of struggles in my own life. I can think of family and friends who are going through tough times and suffering. The hard stuff of life. Unwanted, but unavoidable.
There is a woman in the Bible who dealt with pain and suffering for a long time. I’m sure she wondered if it would ever get better. We meet this woman in Mark 5:
We don’t meet this woman by learning her name, we meet her by learning her suffering. For 12 years, she has suffered from constant bleeding. Even with visiting doctors, spending all she has on cures, she doesn’t get better, but worse.
According to the Levitical Law, this woman’s bleeding would have caused her to be ceremonially unclean. Anything and anyone that touched her would have also become unclean. So not only would this woman have been suffering physically, but she would have probably lived a secluded and lonely life.
This suffering had cost her much.
This suffering, so deep, too deep, threatening to drown out hope.
But where there is faith, there is hope. And this woman had faith:
Hearing about Jesus, this great Miracle Worker, this wonderful Teacher, this Man who could be the Messiah, the woman goes to Him. She places her faith in His power. We see a desperation in her reaching for Him, striving to get close to Him, to be in His presence. Knowing that there, in that place of proximity to Jesus, there is healing.
In Jesus alone, there is healing. True healing. Deep healing. The suffering nothing else can alleviate, He can eradicate.
While the woman could feel in her body that she had been healed, Jesus had some deeper healing for her; He wanted to set her free:
There are many crowding around and pressing into Jesus, but when the woman touches His robe, He knows it. If Jesus had only wanted to heal the woman, He could have continued walking, and let her go her own way. But He knows there is someone in the crowd who has sought Him and reached for Him in desperation and faith. Someone who’s soul is crying, “I need You.”
Even though she had been healed, the woman still felt fear. She came to Jesus trembling with fear. Perhaps she was afraid He would feel defiled after being near this unclean woman. Perhaps she feared He would be angered at her being so presumptuous as to touch His robe. Perhaps she feared being rejected and cast aside, even though her uncleanliness was now gone.
In many ways, we can identity with the woman. The suffering, the fear, the shame of our past, the feeling there is something that makes us untouchable. We can feel alone and secluded in our pain and struggles, wondering if anyone sees or cares or understands.
But Jesus didn’t validate the woman’s fears, He gave her freedom: Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.
Jesus sees. Jesus cares. Jesus understands.
Even the deep, soul-wounds Jesus can heal. Jesus can free the hurting, fear-filled heart. Jesus can turn scars into stars.
For where there is faith, there is hope, and where there is hope, there is light.
Where there is faith in the One who bore our sins and bears the scars of suffering, there is hope in the One who freed us from sin and will remove all suffering. And where there is hope in the promises Christ, there is the light of the presence of Christ.
God who said, “Let there be light,” made His light shine in our hearts. Treasure in simple, unexpected, cracked jars of clay. (2 Corinthians 4:6-7) Grace-gifts held even in hurting hearts. Because those hurting hearts are held by the Giver of grace and goodness.
So though we are pressed by troubles, we are not crushed. Though we suffer, we are not destroyed. Though life knocks us down, God never abandons. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
If you’re reaching for Jesus, on your knees, grabbing hold of Him with whatever strength you’ve got left, know this: Jesus is holding you with all of His might, and He’s not gonna let you go. In even our deepest suffering, His grace is deeper still. His strength is deeper still. His comfort is deeper still. His compassion is deeper still. He is deeper still.
In even our deepest need, Jesus is enough.
So keep reaching.
If you’re still waiting for healing, know this: Jesus’ power is going out to you and working in you to bring about healing; deep heart healing. Deep spirit strengthening. Deep soul freedom.
Even in the pain and the struggles, God’s power is at work. For His power is made perfect in weakness. In the kneeling in faith. In the whispered, tear-filled, “I need You.”
He is all we need. And His grace is sufficient for all our need.
He works good in all things. He works grace in all things. So our kneeling in faith also becomes a stepping out in faith. So our whispered, “I need You” also becomes a shout of victory: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
So keep reaching for Jesus. In Him, even in the midst of suffering, there is comfort and healing. There is grace and goodness. There is freedom and hope.
The post Jesus is Enough Part 5: Keep Reaching first appeared on The Overflowing
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