Suffering’s Solution

I was in the middle of reading Leviticus. I was in the middle of all the commands about bodily fluids. Yep, you know what I am talking about. It’s kinda gross, kinda gritty, and kinda awkward; but it also shows the incredible care of God to address every issue possible. It shows His desire for purity and for the pursuit of holiness in all things. And, if you know anything about sickness, disease and other medical realities…it shows His great desire to protect His people, not only spiritually, but physically as well. I was trying to remind myself of these things so that I wouldn’t skim but would actually read each word. 

There was a slight sigh of relief in my soul as I left the pages of discharge to go on to read from the Psalms and Hebrews. Yet, as the morning went on, I found my thoughts turning back to Leviticus 15, almost against my will. As a woman, I couldn’t help but think how hard it must have been for an Israelite woman who had “cycle issues”. She was unclean all the days her bleeding continued and so was anything she sat or laid on. And, to top it off, anyone who touched what she had touched was unclean for the rest of the day and had to bathe with water. How humbling it would be and how alone she might have felt in this physical struggle, while seeking to obey God’s commands.

Then it dawned on me. This was the plight of the “bleeding woman” in Mark 5:25-34: 

“A woman suffering from bleeding for 12 years had endured much under many doctors. She had spent everything she had and was not helped at all. On the contrary, she became worse. Having heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His robe. For she said, ‘If I can just touch His robes, I’ll be made well!’  Instantly her flow of blood ceased, and she sensed in her body that she was cured of her affliction. At once Jesus realized in Himself that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My robes?’  His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the crowd pressing against You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ‘  So He was looking around to see who had done this. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came with fear and trembling, fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth. ‘Daughter,’ He said to her, ‘your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be free from your affliction.’ “ 

Can you even imagine? Twelve years of being unclean. Twelve years of making anything she came in contact with unclean. Twelve years of not worshipping in the temple. Twelve years of not enjoying marital intimacy (if she was married) or knowing she was not an eligible bride. Twelve years of sacrificing all she had in the pursuit of normalcy, but getting worse instead. And I can only imagine the physical struggles she must have faced with the loss of blood she experienced on a daily basis…hello iron levels!  Very few of us can fully understand all that she suffered, all that she missed out on and the hopelessness that she must have battled with every waking breath. 

But this woman didn’t hide away in a room, giving up on life; at least not the day recorded for us in Scripture. That day, she risked it all to grab hold of “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6). She took her hopeless reality and reached for Living Hope (I Peter 1:3). She touched the only One who’s power could heal and restore her both inside and out. 

She went to Jesus. 

What an example to follow. No matter how hard the trial, how long the suffering, how difficult the day, how discouraging the situation…may we run to Jesus. May we be those who fall before Him with our frailties and gaze in awe at His strength and power, as we pour out our hearts before Him. May we fix our eyes on Jesus and grab hold of His Word, cling to His promises and trust His good and perfect will. 

He may not remove the trial, take away the suffering, or ease the difficulty of a situation…but He will show us that He is enough. His grace is sufficient, His peace passes understanding, His love never ends, and His faithfulness endures forever! I Peter 5:10 says, “The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while.” 

She went to Jesus…may we follow her lead and encourage others to do the same! 

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