A few days ago during a time of worship in church, I sensed that I had pressed through, had broken through, had reached beyond a certain point… as if I had really stretched and leaned into God’s presence. It really is a challenge for me to explain. As I pushed through, there was a sense that for me, on that day, in that moment, I had reached a place where I was being clothed in a new garment, so to speak. It was as if all the assurance and peace that I needed was placed upon me for the areas of concern in my life about which my faith is at work as I continue expect to see change. My husband watches a lot of sci-fi so I will borrow from some of those images to try to describe it. It was as if I had stepped through into another dimension, through an barrier not visible to the human eye. And as I entered I was “clothed” with what I needed to continue the walk of faith as I await the manifestation of those things for which I have prayed.
As I continued to lift up praise to God, in my own space with Him in the middle of that huge congregation, I sensed that I was in the posture of the woman with the issue of blood. I didn’t enter into praise and worship with a list of my petitions or even asking for anything at all. However, in the middle of my praise, my worship, my adoration that was being lifted up to the Father my heart was infused with what I needed. The woman with the issue of blood was determined to stretch, to risk being ridiculed, to defy the norm, and to accomplish her goal of reaching through the crowd and making her way to Jesus. She was trying to get close enough so that she could simply stretch, reach out, and touch the hem of His garment. She wanted to receive what money could not secure for her, what doctors could not provide for her, and what her mind had more than likely reminded her on any and every occasion possible that she could never attain.
What about you? What is it that you have almost given up on? What is it that you have talked yourself out of? What is it that you have let fizzle out to a faint memory and no longer bother to pray about, think about, or dream about? Let me challenge you to stretch like you have never stretched before. Be more determined than ever that you will not allow yourself to be robbed of the hope and expectation that you have found in the promises of God. Your heart may be broken, you may have experienced betrayal, abandonment, false accusations… it does NOT matter!
The woman we read about had spent all of her money trying to get the help she needed. She was considered unclean and should never have been out in the crowd that she was fighting her way through. Her chances of getting close enough to Jesus to interact with Him were slim to none. The likelihood that she could even get His attention were minimal in her bowed down state. BUT she persevered, she pushed herself, she fought her way through obstacles, she did not allow her disappointments of the past hinder her or alter her expectation, she did not allow negativity to invade her mind and cause her to abandon her mission… and she STRETCHED and she TOUCHED that hem! She received what she had been longing for in that act of stretching and reaching out to touch the robe of Jesus.
I’m not your “scripture and verse” person in terms of always being able to tell you where to find certain passages in the Bible. This morning I was led to this passage initially with only “5:26” runnning through my brain. Not even knowing what I was looking for. I just instinctively went to the gospels and when I looked it up in Matthew I knew that wasn’t it. Then I went to the book of Mark and everything “clicked” as I linked this morning’s direction to the experience I had less than a week ago. I was being reminded of what happened during that worship service. I had been ushered into a place of peace about some concerns that I have been carrying in my heart for years. I was released from that pressure, the burden, and the anxiety constantly tried to weigh me down. I was now clothed with peace and assurance, wrapped up in the Father’s love.
I pray that as you read this passage that you will gain the strength, the courage, and the determination you need to keep pushing, keep pressing, and keep believing so that you will stretch to touch the hem of the garment. May God’s grace and peace be yours in abundance as you continue to fight the good fight of faith, declaring that God’s Word is true and you await the manifestation of the promises that you cling to. We pray that God’s will be done here on earth as it has already been established in heaven! It’s already done. It’s time for us to release the suffering and walk in the freedom that is ours as we place our expectation in the Father. Our hope is in Him.
Mark 5:25-34 (NIV)
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”