(By Rachel Joyce)
She had endured twelve long years of suffering and ceaseless bleeding. Under Jewish law, her condition rendered her “unclean” - not allowed to go to the temple to worship and unable to live a normal life, interacting with others.
Her sickness left her untouchable, isolated, alone.
In all those years, not one physician was able to heal her or mitigate her suffering. As each year passed, her finances diminished, her strength faded, and the hemorrhaging continued. Preceding each new doctor’s visit, hope revived, only to drain away as the treatments made her worse instead of better.
She suffered behind closed doors, unnoticed by neighbors and unsupported by friends. But then, one day she heard about Jesus, the miracle worker, who healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, and cast out demons. And as she prayed, her faith in Him began to grow.
Secretly, she slipped into the crowd and began to inch closer and closer. She kept her face hidden; her condition would have brought “defilement” on all who bumped against her, but all that mattered to her at this point was reaching Jesus. Prayer rose from her heart, “Please, Lord, help me get close. Let me touch only the edge of His robe, and I know I will be healed.” She mustered all her strength and pushed forward through the jostling crowd until she saw Him. Reaching out a trembling hand, she felt the edge of His robe and instantly knew she was healed.
Relief and gratitude surged through her. Silently, she turned to walk away. Whole in body, but still bearing the shame and disgrace of the years.
But His voice stopped her. “Who touched Me?” (Luke 8:45). And her heart sank. What could she say? How could she admit what she had done? What if she brought defilement on Him? The denials of the crowd were deafening in her ears as she hesitated.
“Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace’” (Luke 8:47-48).
His words brought healing to her soul and life to her spirit. Daughter. She was not an outcast, not defined by shame and uncleanness. She was a daughter of faith who could live marked by peace. She belonged.
He had noticed her suffering and had seen her faith. He allowed her pain to draw her to Him. And then He brought healing, fully and completely to every part of who she was. Such wholeness can only be made by Jesus.
Our suffering is never unnoticed by Him. Regardless of what shame we have experienced or what brokenness, He bids us, “Come!” And as we lay hold on Him in faith, we hear His words, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”