In Mark 5 there is a story of a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. After seeking help from many doctors and exhausting all of her resources ins search of a cure, she only grew worse. Then Jesus comes to town and as crowds press in on her she says to herself, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” After touching His cloak, her bleeding stops and she is healed. Jesus recognizes the fact that healing power has gone out of his body and finds this woman. She comes before Him trembling and tells Him the whole story. Jesus responds by saying, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
This is a story that I have read before many times. Its a story that I have always looked at and thought, “Good for her!” It’s a story that in some seasons has made me consider my level of faith in God and at some seasons made me cry out to him for help. But this time, this story made me consider God’s presence. God’s presence is something that most Christians would say they desire to “feel.” We want to feel his presence in our lives. More often than not, that means something like, “I want to read scripture and then feel good.” or “I want to pray and have an emotionally moving experience.” If these things don’t happen, then we didn’t feel God’s presence. If these things don’t happen for an extended period of time, we say things like, “I’m in a dry season,” or “God is distant from me.”
But when we come to the story of this woman, God’s presence seems to look very different. The crowds were pressing in hoping to come face to face with Jesus. Hoping for these good feelings or emotionally moving experiences. But not this woman. This woman knew that the corner of His garment, just a small piece of something attached to Him, was still a piece of Him. She knew that even the smallest encounter with Jesus could heal her. She knew that just a tiny bit of contact with the savior could rescue her from her suffering. And it did. Imagine if this woman had decided to wait until the situation was perfect, until the line wasn’t too long, or until she didn’t have to fight through the crowd. What if this woman had waited until it was convenient for her to approach Jesus. She would have missed out on the healing God had for her in that tiny encounter.
I am guilty of putting things off until conditions are perfect. That’s why I have things like Amazon Prime, the Starbucks mobile app, and Fandango on my phone. Because I want things to come to me. I don’t want to wait. But Jesus works a little differently. His word says, “Come to me…and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). This rest allows us the opportunity to recover and regain our strength. That is exactly what happened for this woman. She pushed aside all of the things and people who were trying to hold her back, to distract her and fought to come into the presence of Jesus. She fought because she knew that just a little piece of his presence was all she needed to be healed.
What’s holding you back from coming to Jesus? What is distracting or fighting for your attention and causing you to miss the moments with him? Let’s fight to push that aside and come into his presence at every opportunity.