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A nameless woman in the New Testament has always pulled on my heart. Ever since I was in middle school, the story of the hemorrhaging woman has captivated me. What is remarkable about her story in the gospels is how it is a small snapshot type of miracle caught in one of the busiest days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. One thing I can know from this nameless, brave, heroic woman is that nothing, absolutely nothing is random-woman-in-the-middle-east . No such thing as a “random act of kindness” for Jesus! Her story is told in Mark 5:25-34.

I sat down with the Lord one afternoon to have a talk about this nameless, hemorrhaging woman. As I did, I wrote down my thoughts as to how I picture this not so random woman coming to Jesus. Here are my thoughts:

I see her in slow motion like it is shown in the movies where everything around this woman is a blur. The camera is entirely focused on the woman. The faces and noises surrounding her are blurred. People are saying something, but we can’t make out  their exact words. Colors of clothing all run together. Total oblivion to anyone and anything except for her mesmerizes our view. She is searching, longing, desperate to find something, someone…to make the bleeding stop.

Her heart is racing a million miles an hour. She knows in her head she is restricted from being in public because of her condition. But, she is compelled – more like forced from an outside being – like a mother who is searching frantically for a lost child. She is helpless yet not without hope. She doesn’t even have time to wrestle with her thoughts. Can’t even bring herself to accept the idea that this too may not work. Just as a searching mother of a lost child believes she will soon wrap her clinging arms around her child, so this nameless woman believes by faith she will be healed. She can’t figure out how, she just has a deep conviction that, He, Jesus, will stop the bleeding.

There’s a bridge she must find that takes her from this side of pain and suffering  she’s known for the past 12 years, across the valley of the shadow of death to the other side of complete wholeness. She’s never been more ready to receive this free gift of love. She’s literally broke from the price she’s paid for man to unsuccessfully heal her. Doesn’t matter anymore what others think or even say about her. She can’t go another day inside the prison of herself. She is convinced the stories she has heard about Jesus are to be the truth – no bother trying to sway her otherwise. He will be there for her. Before she ever lays eyes on Him, she knows Him to be her Healer, her Deliverer, her Rescuer, her Help in trouble. Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals.

As she approaches the crowd, she loses her breath and her footing at the same time. She falls to the ground and injures her foot. The pain in her heart is much more  intense than the pain in her ankle. Her faith drives her to keep going, not to give up now. She crawls on her hands and feet disturbing and contaminating those along her path. The bridge is nearing…it looks confining, but nothing will stop her now. Someone is trying to pull her back. Shame is yelling at her that she doesn’t deserve this kind of love. Loneliness whispers in her ear that “He” isn’t safe. Mockery laughs in her face at her pitiful site. Hate is pounding on the door of her heart. Death presides over her pronouncing: “You will bleed to death”. The evil voices encompassing her do not define her anymore. “Enough!” She proclaims aloud. “Enough! My Jesus saves and He will save me”! Her authoritative words come out clearly for the heavenlies to know.

The ache in her heart lessens its grip. The darkness in her soul is disappearing allowing the light to seep through. Her breath returns to her. The blurriness in her eyes is clearer. How much further until she reaches Him? She doesn’t want to wait another second. Her faith is at its strongest point. She’s convinced herself all she has to do is touch the hem of His garment and it will be enough to forever heal her sick, bleeding, embarrassing body. Just one touch will make the bleeding forever stop.

“And a woman was there…” (Mark 5:25)

I don’t get the time to blog as much as I would like to, and when I do, my blogs are usually on the positive, upbeat side. Today, however, I am grieved in my spirit. For whatever reason, the images I saw this morning on “The Today Show” really upset me. I have seen similar disturbing images before on Prime Time TV (we don’t even own cable or satellite), and have been bothered, but not as much as I am today. I was then grieved again this morning when I dropped my children off for Kids Camp at the church, I was talking with one of my 10 year old’s friends who was wearing a Justin Bieber t-shirt. I made a comment about it and she quickly responded with “He is my future husband” even with her mom standing there. I don’t dismiss comments like that as being “childish”. It is serious business to me when a child’s heart is leading her thoughts astray from God’s best for her.

My time in God’s Word today just happened to center on God’s wrath. The events of my morning made me ponder how God could stand us any longer?! Isn’t He so disgusted with us? Yes, I may look at others and see unrighteousness, but I also know in my own heart the unrighteousness that bothers me and disgusts God too. What is He to do with us? As I was reminded in Scripture that God is patient with us and desires our repentance (2 Peter 3:9). I appreciate God’s patience in my own life and confess my sin and turn from it. But what about the world? When will we see repentance, integrity, modesty, morals, and so forth from them? How much worse will it really get? What will it take for them to want to want God and His ways?  Revelation 9 actually answers some of these questions. Unfortunately, it is a sad picture of what is to come. John wrote what he saw take place in heaven. In Rev. 9 John writes about the wrath to come upon the earth towards the ones who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads, “During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.” At the end of the chapter he writes, “The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood-idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.”  Rev. 16 speaks again of more plagues God brings upon those on the earth to get their attention to repent, and yet again they refused (Rev.16:8-11).  Some will be so stubborn, they will never repent. God is faithful and desires their repentance and is patient with man. He is loving and gracious. Even so, they will miss out on the best to come…heaven!

We may never have role models in Hollywood, on the golf greens, on the bball courts, in movies, on ball fields, etc. But will you be a role model for today’s youth? They are so desperate to find and know someone who is truly living out God’s principles in their daily lives. Thank you to all who have exemplified Jesus Christ in my life! I am so grateful for those who have gone on before me and who are still living out their faith even in the hard times!  May this be said of us, “They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead-Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).

I had a revelation the other day.  I would like to share it with you and see what you think.

I realized that Satan tempts us to do the things that make us feel alive.   You know, the things in the flesh that are sinful.  He talks into it by justifying the behavior and rationalizing it into “it isn’t going to hurt anyone”.  He is king of excuses.  But, in the end, it leads to death.  It is a trick.  If we actually see beyond the instant gratification to the bigger picture – death is at the end.  So… instead of feeling “alive” we actually experience some sort of emotional or even physical death.

God leads us to die.  He desires we die to ourselves daily.  When we live the crucified life, we live.  To die is to live.  To die to the flesh is to live abundantly even on earth.

Satan wants us to feel alive which leads to death.  God wants us to die which leads to life.

Interesting, huh?

Jennifer Johnson

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"To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen." -Revelations 1:5b-6

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