TITLE: A Touch of faith
By Ekua Bartlett-Mingle
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A Touch of Faith
The woman crawled through the crowd, covering her face in shame. Men jostled her and women turned haughty eyes on her. The throng that followed the man was great but greater was her determination, her faith.
She had to see him! She had to get close enough, yes close enough.
Little by little, she inched her way through. A curse here, a glare there, yet she was undaunted. She tripped on her cloak and fell but rose again. Suddenly a heavy hand grabbed her wrist and thrust her aside, she cried out as she hit the ground, but said to her self, “I can’t give up now”.
“I am tired”, she kept saying to her self, “I can’t stand it any longer. This is my chance for a breakthrough! Her mind travelled back over the past years. Yes… painful memories. Twelve years of rejection, hopes dashed to the ground. She remembered the first time she realized that something was wrong. The physician had promised a cure in no time but it didn’t work out. One by one the physicians she went to for help took all her money, all she owned. She had sold everything to buy a cure that never was. She grew worse and worse and finally had to live on the charity of friends, but even they grew tired of her, her family considered her cursed and she was all alone. The bleeding continued unabated everyday of those long agonizing years. Where was Yahweh, the God of her fathers, she wondered. Would this ailment bring her to her grave?
Then one day, she overheard people talking about a man, a man from Galilee a teacher, Rabbi they called him. They said he worked miracles, healing the sick, making the lame walk, the blind to see and casting out devils. Some said he was even the Messiah. Could it be that she could also be healed? I will see this man she resolved. And so she found out where he was and determined to take her miracle by faith!
What a crowd that surrounded him! But she was determined. She pressed through the crowd, braving the jostling, the pulling and pushing until finally she stood just an arms reach away. But dare she, an unclean woman, touch this Holy Man? Or even speak to him to ask for healing? She knew what she wanted and made up her mind, if I could just touch the hem of his garment, I can be made whole.
So she reached out, almost getting trampled in the process, and touched the fringe of his outer garment and immediately, felt in her body that she was made whole! She felt an overwhelming power flowing from him into her body! I can imagine how she must have felt. Such joy, relief and exhilaration. Time must have stopped as she celebrated this moment for her joy knew no bounds! At last, healing! Healing she had sought with all her wealth. Here it was at last! Just with a touch of his garment. She felt dizzy with excitement and also awed by the power she had felt in her body.
While her mind whirled round with the excitement of what she had just experienced, she heard him say, “who touched me?” She realized the crowd was skeptical, I mean, who wouldn’t touch who in a crowd such as this? But she knew like Jesus knew that something more than mere touching had taken place. Trembling, she came forward, knowing that something that defied medical explanation had just taken place. She opened her lips and with tears in her eyes said, “Master, it was I who touched you”. Then she told Jesus her whole story and how she had decided to touch his garment that day, believing that it would end her suffering. Her ears would never forget the words he spoke to her nor the look of compassion on his face as he said; “daughter, your faith has healed you, go in peace and be free from your suffering”.
Halleluiah! I believe she must have danced all the way home. Suddenly she was whole again. The sun rose with her in pain but by sunset, this sister was singing a new song. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning! May that be your portion in Jesus name! I believe she went to look for friends and family to tell them that her story had changed, that she was not the same ‘cursed’ one they had spurned. That Jesus had made a difference in her life.
This story encourages my own faith so, so much. Despite the odds, she persevered to receive her miracle. Not only was she healed, but the Lord had blessed her with peace. How we need peace in times like these! We live in a world where we face frustration, heartbreak, poverty, disease, injustice to name a few. Only the soul that has touched Jesus will know true peace.
If only we would seek to touch Jesus in our moment of need! To rise above the dark clouds, above our circumstances, our doubts and touch the hem of his garment! This woman braved the odds and pressed on. Even when your prayers are not answered, when people tell you to give up, when the devil shoves you down, will you rise up yet again through the “pressing crowd of doubts” and fix your eyes on Jesus? Knowing he has all the power and is able and willing to help you?
In the words of T.D. Jakes; “the very pain that’s been tormenting and traumatizing you could be the very pain that pushes you to touch God”. That 12 year plague is what pushed this woman to touch Jesus and when she did, the miraculous happened! May your pain drive you to the source of deliverance which is Jesus himself! In your pain, in your hurt, in your need reach out to Him in faith and He will come through for you!
I must confess that sometimes in my moments of need I have lost sight of Jesus. The pressing doubts and fears jostle me down and I can’t see him. But it is not as if he moved. It’s more of, I allowed myself to drift away. But each time I rise up and set my gaze upon him once more, I am able to get close enough to touch the hem of his garment. I remember a time when I was going through a rough patch, I grew depressed, irritable and stressed out. I just felt overwhelmed and could hardly pray. I complained and moaned about the issues in my life and yet didn’t make any headway until I finally surrendered in prayer to God and began to seek God’s face about it. I just spent time worshipping Him and loving Him then I asked Him for strength and he spoke to my heart. I recorded in my journal the words God spoke to my heart in that time;
“Let communion with me be your topmost priority. In my presence you will find rest and strength. You will receive wisdom for your daily living. You don’t have to be a super woman. But if you rely on my strength you will fulfill every assignment. Let your children be my burden, let your husband be my burden, let your ministry and career be my burden. Come into my presence, daughter and fall at my feet. Come and rest in my love, come and enter my rest”.
Those words brought great peace into my life and set me on course for greater service for God because I knew I was relying on His strength, not mine.
God is able and willing to step into our lives if we reach out in faith. Hebrews 11:6 says that “for without faith it is impossible to please God, because he that comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He is the rewarder of all that diligently seek Him”. Remember the words Jesus spoke to her.”…your faith has made you well…”. Jesus responds to our faith. We can make no greater impression on God than the imprint of our faith. Remember the centurion, Jesus was astounded by such a show of faith! What about the woman from Syria Phoenicia, she too was one who made Jesus marvel at her faith. She wanted her daughter healed and Jesus says to her, “ it is not right to take what belongs to the children and give it to the dogs”. In effect, Jesus meant you belong to the uncircumcised, healing is the children’s bread so where is your portion? But instead of being offended at His graphic description of her social standing, she countered with “even the dogs can eat the crumbs that fall from the children’s table”! She positioned herself for a miracle by her response of faith! Wow! I too want to knock Jesus off His feet with my faith! I want all heaven to be bowled over by my faith!
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. Another version renders it, “the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen”. Bottom line? Faith is tangible and must be manifest in our speech and actions.
Recently, I had a fresh revelation of this truth as I meditated on the Word of God. Faith means I believe in rain, when there are no clouds in the sky. So like Elijah, I can begin to run for cover when there’s only a cloud as small as a man’s fist because, I believe God will do what I have committed to Him by faith! So my faith can’t be passive! Faith must be active, this woman moved in faith and so can I and so can you!
She touched Him and received her healing and received the peace of God. Whatever my needs, I will reach out in faith to the giver and sustainer of life, to the Alpha and Omega, to the Lord my Provider, my Shepherd. I want to touch Him by faith and let His power manifest in my life.
You can touch Him too today; all you need to do is receive Him into your heart. By faith acknowledge that God is your source, that the sacrifice of Jesus is sufficient to redeem you from sin. Believe that your sins are forgiven that you have new life in Jesus. Then you can start on the exciting journey of touching Him daily through prayer and meditation on His word. Reach out in faith and see where God will take you. It will blow your mind!
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