Archive for September 18th, 2007

Victory from Defeat!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Mark 5:24-34 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

This woman is inspiring, isn’t she? For twelve years she had gone to doctors, undergoing apparently painful treatments to get rid of her bleeding. Twelve years later she was not any better, but instead worse — and broke!

On top of that, her condition caused her to be “unclean”. According to the New Oxford Annotated Bible, which references Leviticus 15:25-30, anything a woman who has a discharge of blood sits on is “unclean.” That means whoever touches what she sits on is unclean and has to wash their clothes and take a bath! This would of course make her life all the more difficult.

Yet, she had solid faith that Jesus will heal her if only she touched the hem of his garment. No, she apparently didn’t even need to tell him her story and hear him say something like “Daughter, be healed!”

Isn’t it great to know that, often in the most bleak and hopeless circumstances, astonishing faith emerges? That seems to be a quality God has bestowed on those who believe. Just when it looks like we’ll collapse under the enormous weight of long-term suffering, the greatest of faith seems to come out of nowhere. It reminds me of the quote by Albert Camus, “In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer.”

So, what is her “invincible summer?” I think it’s that she doesn’t just give up after all those bleak years. Even if she has understandably given up hope in the doctors, she isn’t going to let that prevent her from believing in her Messiah, her healer! It reminds me that all of us can “keep the faith”, and that God can deliver us from burdens we’ve been stuck in for years. Maybe our deliverance won’t be as spectacular as this one. However, if it’s God’s will, God can deliver you from things you thought would last forever!

Thought For the Day: Thank God we can be set free from things that have been so hard, they’ve just about caused us to give up. When we have God, we have hope!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to start, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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