|“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 she had,
yet instead of getting better she grew worse.”
These two sentences say it all. She was “subject to bleeding”—that was her condition. She “suffered a great deal”—that was her disposition. She “grew worse”—that was the conclusion of the matter.
Chronic pain, or illness, financial ruin, long-term job loss, unrelenting grief, all these leave the person carrying the burden with both a weakness and helplessness that are often too heavy to bear. Millions of hours of tests, of doctor’s appointments, of careful home care, of searching employment lists, of hopeful highs leading to devastating lows, all become a part of the long-term sufferer’s daily walk.
The primary ordeal makes life hard enough. But, the added secondary effects weigh down with such pressure, making the burden even more dreadful. This woman “spent all she had.” Also, in those times, another person having contact with such a woman would become considered ceremonially unclean. So, she had to live like an outcast. In addition, she would have been childless and spurned even more by society.
I can imagine that, as with most of us, when a trial begins in our lives, we gather our strength and even sense God’s hand on us. But, as time goes on, the fear and dread and hopelessness become heavier and heavier because we have “spent all” we had of our emotional, as well as our physical, energy. We begin to wonder if God cares at all about us.
What do we do in these kind of circumstances? We do exactly what this woman did. We desperately come to Jesus, and boldly beg His mercy, realizing He is our only hope.
If we come to Jesus—and we may have to come again and again for new stores of grace—we will hear Jesus speak to us according to His will. In the case of this woman, we find, recorded in Mark 5:34, that Jesus not only told her to go in peace, but that she was healed from her suffering.
Does that mean Jesus will heal us of all our physical and emotional problems? Will He restore our loss of employment and bring us financial prosperity? Not necessarily, but we can have the strength to carry the burden knowing God owns us as daughters and sons and has plenty of peace to give us, too.
Isaiah 42:3 shows us the character of God who sees our weakness and need:
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
Yes! He has stores of grace when we have nothing left! We can count on His overwhelming love and care for us.