“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.”- Mark 5:27-29
I spoke at Alderson-Broaddus University last week for the Baptist Campus Ministry (BCM) and Fellowship of Christian Athlete’s (FCA) event, Jesus Week. It was a great time to speaking to 40+ college students and sharing the message of grace found in Scripture.
I shared a message from the story of the bleeding woman and Jesus. I was also able to discuss a little about my past. I figured I would share some of my thoughts, possibly the message, from the Wednesday night at Jesus Week.
When I was in fifth grade I took my first hit of weed. I started smoking marijuana regularly in middle school into high school. I also liked to drink alcohol, but I waited until sixth grade for that action.
Now, for some of my family that might read this, I know you’re probably shocked because I hid it well.
You see, I had a lot of pain in my life. I had a great family, but I always felt alone. I had cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents that cared a lot about me, but I had a sense of seclusion. I had friends, but I still carried a weight of internal isolation.
So, I was reaching for things to hide my hurt. I can get into details about relationships with people and other things, but for the sake of time, I will just say that I knew I had people who loved me, but I I couldn’t love myself.
I reached for drugs, nothing heavy, but drugs nonetheless. I reached for alcohol to get through or calm my frustration. I reached for violence to release my anger, I am sorry for all the people I hurt with bullying and/or fighting. I reached for my dad’s rifle once to try to get out of my struggle, thank God I wasn’t able to pull the trigger.
I was reaching for things to “help” me, but mostly everything I reached for made it worse.
It’s the same for the woman who was bleeding for 12 years. She had this pain, this struggle she was living with for so long. A mark, that caused her to be secluded from society.She was shunned by her family and friends. She was unclean. She was alone and had nowhere to turn. She went to physicians and other people to seek healing, but scripture says, it only made her worse.
She reached for things that helped mask her struggle, but ultimately caused more pain.
Then, she meets Jesus. She comes into contact with the rabbi who was making change and causing people to heal. She saw a man who was walking in a crowd that had proven to be a miracle worker and was claiming to be someone who could restore people’s lives and make them whole again. She knew she was in the presence of someone special.
So, through the crowd she comes and comes to the point of saying, “If I could only touch his garment, maybe, I can be healed.” She reaches. Then, the very thing Christ had promised, she received…healing! She risked her life. She took a chance to be socially slammed forever and reached for the One person who promised hope. She received it.
Then, Jesus turned to the crowd and His disciples seeking the person who took His power by touching Him. The disciples, in all their wisdom, said “Uhm…look at all these people, how the heck are we supposed to figure that one out!” (New International Bobby Version). The woman comes forward, fearful I’m sure, but Jesus, in His mercy and grace looks at the woman and tells her that she was healed through her faith.
How awesome right! Jesus felt His power release when the woman touched his robe, but how awesome He knew it happened through a crowd. Perhaps it’s because she touched Him with purpose and faith and others were just reaching out to touch a celebrity?
Even more awesome is the fact that all she had to do was reach out to touch his clothes, not even His flesh or beard or look into His eyes. She was healed by reaching for grace.
This is where many of us fall. We turn to our own power. We reach for our own strength. We reach for booze, pills, money, women, men, or anything else you would like to fill in. We are reaching for things, like the woman did, that are supposed to make us “feel better”, but in the end they hurt us even more.
However, when we reach for the One thing that will heal us, healing is received. Jesus is who we need to reach for. He is the One who will give us freedom. He is the One who delivers us from our struggles. We reach for things that break us more, but He is the One who will make us whole.
Finally, Jesus is standing right there. We don’t have to go anywhere special for Him to heal us. He is just waiting for us to reach out to Him and trust that He will provide the healing we long for.
I praise God for giving me the ability to reach for His Son. My life was changed for good when I met the One who would provide me a new life. Healing was received and my life was made whole.
May we remember Who we should reach for in our need and watch as our healing begins.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: WHAT ARE YOU REACHING FOR?