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the woman with THE ISSUE

At our first event, THE THRESHING FLOOR, we discussed one of the fiercest, most determined women in the bible. She's not notable for being fierce. This woman was notable for something though. She had an issue. Everyone knew about her issue. She lived with it for years but nobody could help her. Because of it, she was labelled, typecast, and ostracised.

For twelve years, she tried to find healing for her issue. An issue of blood. An issue that was seen as dirty, so people avoided her. For twelve years she was disdained. For twelve years she lived in pain, discomfort, and filth with her own body.

How would that have affected her mentally and emotionally? How would that have affected the way she functioned in life? Inevitably she lost connection with others.

Twelve years is a long time to live in misery. It’s a long time to maintain a hopeful attitude, a positive approach, a determination to find change without allowing defeat to take over.

The bible says she spent all her money on doctors. Doctors could have included alternative medicines and practises. Nutritionists. Reiki. Acupuncture. Hypnotists. Reflexology. She probably tried it all. But nothing helped her. She lost everything. It seems she was most likely alone and broke. She may have been reasonably young.

One day a healer came to her town. He had charisma and a following. Everyone was talking about him. Could there finally be someone who had the power to rid her of this curse she had suffered under for so long?

The problem was she couldn’t get to him secretly. He was constantly surrounded by people. It was dangerous to even go in a crowd because she was bent over due to the pain and she was weak because of her condition. If she joined the crowds that surrounded him and she was found out, those crowds could just take her and kill her. She wasn't allowed because of her condition. But she was desperate. She was willing to lose what little she had left. Her life.

It wasn’t much of a life.

She didn't want to be seen. She tried not to be noticed. If she could just get close enough to touch his clothes, she was convinced she would be healed. Her life would be changed in a way she longed for.

She wrapped herself up as best she could and pushed her way into the throng of mostly men. They tried to push her out of their way but she wasn't going to let them. Her need gripped her, propelled her in a way she had never felt before. The closer she got the more pressing the crowd. They jostled and yelled and shoved. Poor Jesus, she thought as she was carried along now in the swell. Is this what he dealt with every day? This shoving, this noise, this chaos, these demands? The strength he must have, she marvelled as she herself struggled to get closer, to deal with this energy of desperate need that everyone seemed to have for him. Yet, no one was more needy than she was. And finally, there he was. Like a god in front of her. A light that was so significant she couldn't restrain her own hand from reaching toward him to grasp what he had, to touch the power she knew, she just knew was going to be hers.

And then suddenly it happened. She touched his clothes and everything stopped. The pain drained from her body. She could feel the heavy pull of the bleeding inside her ease. Her womb suddenly felt light in a way she could hardly remember. She began to straighten up, her back cracking in the most wonderful way. Relief swept through her, unrestrained. Joy!

And then, fear. The reality of what was happening. Jesus had stopped and was asking who touched him. How could he know? Everyone was touching him.

Everyone had stopped and was looking around and then they were staring at her. She was no longer hidden. She was exposed. Exposed. Oh God. Now she knew who He was. He was the Messiah. Her Messiah. The One everyone said they had been waiting for. Now she knew why His power was so extraordinary. And He was staring straight at her. She was seen, truly seen for the first time in a life time. He was seeing her and he wasn't repulsed. He was looking at her with love. Love! Like a river it crashed through her and she dropped like a stone to his feet, weeping. Oh God, was she healed now, only to be killed? But somehow, it had been worth it. Just to see His face. And to be looked at by Him that way. And to touch him. Of all the people in the town – she had got to touch Him. Her Saviour. He had seen her and He had loved her so completely in that instant, it had all been worth it.

God will do it for you

But what was this? He was kneeling beside her. Touching her shoulder. A touch. A real human touch. And yet, at the same time, divine. She wept and she wept. Twelve years and it was all over. She was healed, completely, and not just her body. Her heart. Oh God, her poor heart. She clutched him.

Jesus knew. Jesus saw her. He was loving her. Receiving her pain. And now He was speaking to her. He was restoring every part of her, so fully. Even her position in this very community that had failed her. In one instant. There it was.

The years of fighting, and never giving up were over. She had somehow kept believing. And this one last time she had decided to try, risking everything, she knew she had found not only her healer, but her Creator.

Matthew 7:7-12 (NIV)

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

This woman with The Issue, had learned enough to know that the thoughts she had led to the attitude she carried about herself. Somehow, she believed she was worth more than what everyone around her believed. Who had put that resolve in her?

She hadn't given up. She kept asking, seeking and knocking, and so she received, she found, and the door of life was opened to her. Her thoughts led to her seeking, which led to her healing, which led to her Saviour.

It happened for me. It can happen for you too. Don't give up. God will complete what He started in you. Just believe.

Luke 8



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