Matthew 9:20-22 …A woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said… “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned…and said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.
I have always found the story of this woman to be peculiar but I am not sure I have ever understood it. So, as is often the case, I needed to spend time thinking on it. I usually go out for a run when I my thinking is stuck but, as many of you know, it has been well below freezing and the roads are snow packed. I wanted to run but I wanted not to freeze more. So, last night, instead of running to clear my mind I had to shut off the lights and sit in my chair. I did what I had to do to clear my mind and meditate on this passage, connecting with God.
In the story, this poor woman had been stricken for 12 years with bleeding, socially ostracizing her. She was considered an untouchable in her condition and as such, came to Christ out of desperation. Her desperate faith drove her to touch Jesus as she believed this would heal her. The healing must have come from God, but Jesus tells the woman that it is her faith that triggered the event. Your faith has made you well.
I dare not miss this point. The woman’s misery revealed how desperately she needed Jesus and in her desperation, she reached out to touch him. This is faith: To see my need, believe that God is the answer, and to do whatever it takes to connect with him. It is only through my faith that I touch God. It is in drawing near to God that He draws near to me.
We all, like the woman, are in desperate need of God. We are all a mess but we are not all aware of it. Perhaps the woman was fortunate that her need was such that she could not ignore it. Though I am not thankful for my destruction, I am thankful for the need I could no longer ignore. It was only in my desperation that I desperately pursued God. I would never have come to know God as I do without my addiction.
The apparent permanent healing of this woman may lead me to think that I just need to touch God once and be done. However, as I am in the terminal state of this flesh, I will not be free from my need in this life. So, I must do whatever it takes to connect with God daily. I always need God.
I remember a time when I questioned the existence of God as I just could not feel or hear him. The truth was, I was making virtually no effort to touch him. I was willing to do nothing to draw near to him and then had the audacity to complain about his distance. So, whether I go running or sit in my chair, I need to do whatever it takes to touch God daily.