Twelve Years: The Woman Jesus Healed from Bleeding

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For twelve years I had been bleeding, without stopping. For twelve years I had been unclean. For twelve years anyone that I touched had been unclean. Anyone who sat where I had been sitting would be unclean. I was an outcast. No one wanted to be near me. This bleeding pushed everyone away. Because when you are unclean, everyone is scared of you.

I was desperate, I spent every penny I had on trying to get better. I had sat back and watched my friends lives go on, while mine was on pause for twelve years. Gradually people drifted away from me, they didn’t care about the unclean woman. I missed sitting to a meal with my family. Over twelve years I had lost all hope of this ever stopping.

But then I began to hear stories of a man who could heal people, he even bought someone who was dead back to life. I had to meet him. I became obsessed by it. This had to be the answer to my prayers. I would hang around waiting to see if he would come past. Listening out to hear where he might be heading next. One day there was a huge commotion. I knew it had to be him, it had to be Jesus. He was surrounded again, but I knew this was my chance. If I didn’t do it now I never would. So I pushed through the crowd, not worrying about who I touched for the first time in a long time. Then I reached out and touched him. Well not actually him, just the cloak he was wearing. And Immediately I knew it had worked! I turned away to sneak off before anyone could notice

“Who did this?”

I was terrified. “it was me,” I whispered as my knees gave way. “I did it.” And then I explained why to all the people, hoping they would take pity on me.

“And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

“And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.

Mark 5:34

A story hidden between another Miracle, perhaps and a woman whose name time has forgotten.

When we read this story its easy not to realise the kind of suffering that she had faced. It wasn’t just the awkward pain of having a period that lasted more than twelve years. It was twelve years of almost complete social isolation. This bleeding meant that she was unclean and according to the Jewish laws anyone she touched was unclean, anyone who sat on a seat she had sat on was unclean, and stayed that way until evening. So people would have avoided her.

We don’t know anything else about her life circumstances, was she married? Single? Young or old? With or without children? Rich or poor? At the end of the day, none of this mattered, her illness made her live a life of isolation. I am sure that after this year many of us could relate to that. but imagine multiplying this year by twelve, and then knowing that you are facing that suffering alone. That’s why she spent everything she had on trying to get better. That’s why she was so desperate to get to Jesus. Her healing wouldn’t just make her body better, it would change everything for her. It would give her a future, it would change her entire existence.

He healed her, yes. He gave her a hope for the future, one which now had posebilities, But he also called her daughter. Can you imagine how that sort of acceptance would have felt for someone who had spent so much time alone. For someone who’s future seemed to have been ripped away. Jesus didn’t just heal her body, he restored her, and made her whole, and he sent her in his peace. Something that she probably hadn’t experienced for all the years of her suffering.

When we encounter Jesus, it doesn’t just change one part of our life. It doesn’t work like that. it changes everything. it must change everything. He doesn’t just set us a little bit free, he sets us completely free.

But sometimes taking hold of this complete freedom feels scary. We hold bits back. But Jesus accepts us, he calls us daughter and longs for us to be completely restored.

This post is part of a new series, in which we look at the stories of people found in the bible, whose names have been lost in history.

This story can be found in Mark 5.21-43, which focuses on two different healings.

A Quick and Easy Guide to Choosing which Book of the Bible to Read

Have you ever just sat there staring at your bible, wanting to read it, but not knowing where to start, then this is the post for you. There are so many different styles of writing in the bible, which is great, because we all like different things; but do you know what’s even greater?

They all point to Jesus!

This is my cheesey and slightly tongue in cheek guide to choosing which book of the bible to read next. Please don’t take it too seriously, but let it be a reason why you open your bible, and get reading. (I wrote this a few years ago, and to be honest, it does make me cringe a bit now, but it seems to have helped a number of people, being to only post on my old blog to go viral (by my very low standards) so I thought I would put it out there again.)

A Quick and Easy Guide to Choosing which Book of the Bible to Read

If sweet romantic stories tickle your fancy you will love reading Ruth, curled up on the sofa with a bar of dairy milk!

If you are always watching home improvement programmes like Grand Designs then be sure to read Nehemiah.

If you enjoy a bit of gore and violence then pick up the book of Judges.

If you like stories with a strong female lead then go ahead and read Esther.

If you always loved the problem pages of magazines then head over to James.

If you think it’s fun to read other peoples post then 1 and 2 Timothy will be perfect for you.

If adventure is your thing then you will love Exodus.

If you are into rules and law then check out Leviticus.

If stories set in the future float your boat then go to the back of the bible and read Revelation.

If poetry is more your thing then stick your finger in the middle of the bible (and slightly to the left) and pick up to Psalms.

If you prefer your poetry to be more emotional and angst filled then Ecclesiastes is the book for you.

If you just love family history then start at the beginning with Genesis.

If you enjoy underdog stories then 1 Samuel will be right up your street.

If you want little nuggets of wisdom then look into Proverbs.

If you like intense, edge of your seat, danger and suspence, then Daniel will be sure to thrill.

Finally if you want to read something life changing then the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) really are the thing for you.

The bible is an amazing book, there really is something for everyone. I guess God made us all different, so made His book just as diverse!

If you have more to add to the list feel free to share them in the comments section.

This Moment

IMG_1002Most of the time we spend most of the time worried about what we need to do, or worrying about what we didn’t do.

One foot in the past and one in the future and our head full of worry and confusion.

The sick thoughts of mistakes and what ifs, the questions for tomorrow and the fears for the future take over and we forget to actually live today.

Right now. This moment. You can take your mind of the worry and you can find peace. Continue reading

When Hope Feels Lost

 

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Do you ever feel like your life is just a mess. Like there are pieces of you spread all over the place. Like a smashed vase, there’s spilt water and shattered ceramic and shredded flowers. And you just don’t know where to begin to put it back together again. Let alone how to get into a place where you would be proud to show it off, or  give it as a gift.

You try to super glue it back together, but the cracks are still there, and the water pours back out. You try and gather back up the water and pour it into another container, but it’s impossible to pick back up, and the flowers are still a mess.

Trapped by broken relationships, or guilt from past you are stuck. In a place where you can’t move forward and you definitely can’t go back.

You know there is no way of sorting out this mess on your own. There is no hope of getting back what you once had, there is no chance left. It feels like you are too far gone.

When our lives are a mess, when it feels like there is no hope left and we have gone too far; even then God is still devising ways to bring us back to him.

Maybe he needed to push you over the edge so you would fall into his arms.

It doesn’t matter how broken you are; how far from him you have run, or what you have done. He’s running towards you as well. This is not the end of the story, it is just the end of a chapter.

Turn the page, run to him, and he will restore you.

Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him. (2 Samuel 14:14)