Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Woman with the Issue of Blood

 If only she could reach him. For she knew He had the power of God. Jesus had already healed so many and she was certain that He could cure her too.  But the crowd was so great and pressing upon him that she just couldn’t get near. She prayed with all of her heart. “Please God, just let me get close enough to touch him.  If you do, I have the faith that He can make me whole again.”

For twelve years she suffered from an issue of blood. Strictly speaking, she should have not even come that day. According to the laws of ritual purity, women who were experiencing their monthly cycle should stay at home. It was a time out for them, when they were relieved of their normal duties like drawing water from a well, going to the market place or serving dinner to their family. (see Leviticus 15:19-31). This worked for healthy women who were confined once a month but she was bleeding every day of her life! It was not acceptable for her to mix in public, worship at the temple or even to be held in the arms of her husband. According to the Mosaic Law, she was considered unclean, impure and untouchable.

In these years of shame and pain she had gone from physician to physician seeking help.
Each time new hope rising within her but in the end she had wasted all of her money and was physically worse off than before. Perhaps just as significantly, she was mentally spent. Her mind had been plagued with worry and despair. She was frustrated, disappointed and she could not be at peace when her future was so uncertain.

Encouraged by her faith, she had fought her way through the crowd that day until she could finally reach Jesus. Approaching Him from behind, she touched His robe; “For she said, if I touch but his clothes I shall be whole.” She immediately felt His healing energy go through her body and knew that she had been made well. Having accomplished her heart’s desire, she tried to escape back into the crowd. But Jesus also sensed that virtue had gone from Him, for He turned and said “Who touched me?

 Seeing that she could not go unnoticed, she came forward trembling and fell at His feet. In the presence of all the people, she told Him her story of suffering, why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed. Then He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.'" What triumphant words for a woman who had suffered for twelve years!

I love this beautiful story and this woman of great faith. In fact her example challenges me to develop my own faith more fully. When she went to see the Savior that day, she completely expected to be healed. She was determined, unwavering and resolute.

Her story makes me evaluate my own relationship with Jesus Christ. When I come to Him with my “issues”, do I fully expect for something to happen? Or do I just think He is there listening and will eventually get around to my problems when He can?

This story teaches me that our Lord does care about us individually and knows our deepest concerns. Even though many others were calling out to Him that day, He stopped and acknowledged this woman. If fact, He called her “Daughter” so that she understood, she was a member of His family.  

This woman represents all of us who are sick with sin and or burdened by the cares of the world. We can follow her example and come to the Savior too. For He has said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” And He promises us, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Jesus Christ has the power to heal all manner of illness, whether spiritual or physical. Through His Atonement we can be forgiven of our sins and have peace in our lives. Like the woman in this story we can be whole and happy again. If we just reach out to touch Him and believe. - Find this story in the Bible


Anonymous said...

I love your thoughts...thank you for sharing....

Sue said...

What a beautiful rendering--I never thought of the issues--I did a paper about this in college--how women were not to be touched by their husbands during this time--like you said, it would be so hard.

Mormon Women: Who We Are said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I've posted a snippet of this post for our readers at Mormon Women: Who We Are to enjoy, inviting them to read the whole post here.


Mormon Women: Who We Are said...

Here's the link:

Diana Arnold said...

Beautiful blogspot and rendering (woman in brown). Would like to know who the artist is. Our ACTS retreat is based on this scripture this year. Would like to know if print is for purchase so as not to infringe copyright.


Patty's Page said...

The picture is called "Trust in the Lord", by Liz Lemon Swindle.
I love her art work and am glad you do too!