Last Great Hope

I wrote this about a year and a half ago…thought I would share….a little long but close to my heart.

Mark 5: 21-34 (the message)    After Jesus crossed over by boat, a large crowd  met him at the seaside.  One of the meeting place leaders named Jairus came.  When he saw Jesus, he fell to his knees, beside himself as he begged, “My dear daughter is at death’s door.  Come and lay hands on her so she will get well and live.”  Jesus went with him, the whole crowd tagging along, pushing and jostling him.  A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years–a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before–had heard about Jesus.  She slipped in from behind and touched his robe.  She was thinking to herself, “If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.”  The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up.  She could feel the change and  knew her plague was over and done with.  At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharge from him.  He turned around to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”  His disciples said, “What are you talking about?  With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you’re asking, ‘Who touched me?’  Dozens have touched you!”  But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it.  The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story.  Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole.  Live well, live blessed!  Be healed of your plague.”

Of all the people surrounding Jesus on this walk, why did He stop for this woman?  He felt healing power flow from Himself and wanted to know who it was for.  What about her was different from the others?  Lots of people wanted something from Him all the time.  What was the difference between the many jostling and the one who “slipped in from behind?”  Maybe it was that the many jostling were competing for “their place” and “their rights.”  It doesn’t seem this woman even wanted to be noticed by Jesus.  She had suffered for twelve years.  The bleeding had cost her time, money, energy, vitality and wholeness.  It had most likely isolated her from the community because a bleeding woman was considered “unclean.”  If so many surrounding Him needed healing of some sort, why did this woman draw it from Him and then He stop everything to find her?  I think it was her believing heart…her desperation and hunger and hope.  I think it was that she was taking a risk on Him.  She had tried the doctors and the conventional wisdom of their time and had been disappointed.  Even more, she had been misused and taken advantage of by people who should have helped her.  Imagine, the risk of hoping one more time…of letting your heart believe one more time.  She was desperate for wholeness, for the life she imagined she could have.  She was not demanding front and center; she just slipped in from behind.  Her humility, hope and faith brought the whole procession to a stop.  Here Jesus is on His way to heal a child on her deathbed and he stops to find this seemingly insignificant woman.  I think He wanted to stop and find her and say “I see you.  You matter.  I’m so glad you took the risk on me!  I won’t let you down.”

Are we desperate for wholeness or have we adjusted to living with broken bodies and broken hearts?  Do we dare to hope our broken past can be forgiven?  That our broken marriages can be mended?  That our broken bank accounts, broken dreams, broken relationships can be restored?  Our broken circumstances are not wasted if it leads us to a broken spirit before the Lord.  Jesus is drawn to a hungry heart…to the person who says “I can’t fix this and I’ll put my heart’s last hope in you, Jesus.”  The Bible says He is “close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  I don’t think Jesus is nearly as concerned with the mistakes we’ve made or the broken path we have walked as He is that we come to Him with a hungry heart so He can heal our broken lives.

Here I am about to turn 32 in a couple of days.  Still young, but not quite so much as before!  Why do I write these emails?  Not because I think I have it all together or have some special wisdom to give!  It’s because He has healed my life over and over and over.  There is no  one like Him that can take what looks like it’s over and raise it up, again!  There is no one else who can take a hole in your heart where an unborn child lived and fill it with the truth and promise of Heaven.  There is no one else who can take your insecurity and shame and teach you to see yourself through His eyes of love and acceptance.  There is no one else who can take the ashes of your past failures and grow something as beautiful as a family.  There is no one else who can take your lack of qualifications and bounty of weakness and speak a dream into your heart in spite of it.  There is no one else but Him.  So, whether your brokeness is twelve years old or twelve minutes old, let’s be like the woman in the story.  Let us let Jesus be our heart’s last great hope.  He’ll stop and find you with a smile and a promise.

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