A few years ago, during a tough week, my wife encouraged me by sending me the lyrics to one of her favorite songs, “Touching Jesus.” I had never heard of this song until I started dating my wife, and she and her entire family would regularly be singing or humming the tune. All I knew really was what I had heard from them, so when I took the time to look up the lyrics to the entire song and listen to them, I discovered why they love it as much as they do. This song is inspired by the story found in Mark 5:25-34, of Jesus healing the lady with the bleeding disorder. Take the time now to read through those verses.
What happens when the hope runs out? Hopelessness is not uncommon. In fact, I would say most of us, at some point in our lives, have felt hopeless about something. Maybe it is your health, like the lady we read about in Mark 5. Maybe you have watched a family member who has made bad decision after bad decision, and has found themselves in what seems like an unredeemable place. Maybe your marriage feels hopeless, and nothing seems to be improving even though you have tried everything. Whatever makes you feel hopeless has a way of putting a period at the end of something you hoped would get better.
If we look at the lady in Mark 5, her story communicates desperation. For twelve years she “suffered much” and “spent all she had” and her condition only got worse. She found herself in a place of hopelessness. Who or what could help her? I imagine her walking along, trying to avoid the crowds because their whispers and glances only add to the embarrassment and shame she already deeply feels. Occasionally her ear will tune into a conversation in the crowd around her that rumors a man has been healing the sick. This man simply touches the sick, or speaks and their bodies are restored to perfection again. These are only tales for now, but these reports spark a flicker of hope in the black sinking hole of hopelessness she finds herself stuck in.
But then, the rumored man comes walking into her village. A crowd immediately swarms the man, pressing against Him on all sides, hoping for their miracle moment. The lady’s small spark of hope now turns into a blaze, and it compels her to boldly approach the man from behind with the thought that, “touching even his garment could make me well.” So, she pushes through the crowd like a cowering animal, reaching out ever so slightly to touch just a bit of His garment…and all of a sudden, everything drastically changed. Shock turned into wonder and amazement when she felt the change. The bleeding had stopped, and the man who had miraculously changed her condition was asking for her. She feared this man would punish her for being so bold, so she threw her trembling self at His feet to plead for mercy, and that is precisely what she was met with. The miracle man, who made her well, spoke peace into her fearful heart and celebrated her faith. Her life was forever changed, simply by coming to Jesus and having the faith to believe one touch could heal her. Her hope in Jesus completely changed the outcome of her life.
I know each of us find ourselves at times like this lady, hopeless and desperate, seeking reprieve from the pain, shame, and heartache that our situation brings. Well, we are also given the opportunity now to make a decision. Jesus is present and in Him is healing. When you, in confident faith, push through the hopelessness and in faith pursue Christ, your life may not be miraculously healed as this lady’s (it’s certainly a possibility), but Jesus will tend to your needs. He can stir up hope in you again, and shepherd you to move forward in the direction He sends you. Do not hesitate; Jesus is present and waiting for you to come to Him.