The Great Deliverer Day 5: Deliverance in a Crowd
And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace.” (Luke 8:43-48, ESV)
Maybe you’ve had a health crisis that no one could seem to figure out no matter how many doctors you visited, hoping for a diagnosis and a successful treatment plan. I’ve been there, and it’s a frustrating place to be. I had strange symptoms that left me feeling unwell and, somedays, even a little crazy. I visited four doctors before I got my answer—Lyme disease and related co-infections.
I used to lie in my bed and daydream of this woman from Luke 8. How I longed to be able to physically make my way to Him and touch His garment for healing. Some days I felt angry, and other days, hurt; it seemed He would not allow healing for me. Maybe you relate to this woman on a deeper level and you’re still waiting for healing from our Great Deliverer.
Sometimes it’s not our health that makes us long for God’s healing touch; it may be a broken marriage, a child fighting addiction, or a heart broken by loss. We yearn for just a touch of God’s power, enabling victory in the brokenness. This woman had tried everything else—Jesus was her last hope. She didn’t come to Him feeling dejected and uncertain, though—that’s what I love about her the most—she came to Him with faith. Without faith, she would continue in her sickness, for it was her faith that allowed God’s healing power to eradicate her disease.
How often do we approach God with skepticism over our situation as we ask for healing? We doubt there is truly help for us and so we become jaded and cynical, thinking God is uncaring and cruel. Faith isn’t optional if we are petitioning God—it’s a pre-requisite. Our natural tendency is to become impatient and frustrated that God hasn’t answered in our timing. But it’s in our waiting for answers to prayer that our faith is *strengthened.
What if God still says “no” even though you had faith He could do what you’ve prayed for? Does that happen? The answer is yes. While God delivered this woman from her bleeding disorder, He used the healing for good, pointing others to recognize Him as the Messiah. But God can also use suffering and death to draw people to Himself. Healing will always come for those of us who are Christ-followers, but it won’t always come in the ways we pray for.
While this woman received healing from Jesus, her greater healing would be spiritual in nature. We get so focused on our physical bodies and our health, but God places the highest value on our souls because they are eternal. The greatest healing we could ever experience is healing from sin, making us right before a holy and just God. This healing is always available to us—to all who come to Him in faith.
If you’re feeling discouraged today as you face another day of sickness or emotional pain, may you receive comfort and help from our Great Deliverer, Jesus Christ. While faith is necessary for His healing touch, remember that in His silence there is also a message. Maybe we won’t know today or next year why He isn’t answering us, but we can be assured our Lord loves us and is working in ways we may not see or understand. Don’t stop asking—He wants us to bring our burdens to Him. And like this woman, may you receive healing in His time and in His way so that His Name will be glorified.