While He was going, the crowds were nearly crushing Him. A woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years, who had spent all she had on doctors and yet could not be healed by any, approached from behind and touched the end of His robe. Instantly her bleeding stopped.
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are hemming You in and pressing against You.”
“Someone did touch Me,” said Jesus. “I know that power has gone out from Me.” When the woman saw that she was discovered, she came trembling and fell down before Him. In the presence of all the people, she declared the reason she had touched Him and how she was instantly healed. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
– Luke 8:42b-48 (CSB, emphasis mine)
Isn’t it funny, the things we think about God? The things we assume about Him?
Like He doesn’t know. Doesn’t notice.
I find great comfort in knowing that He sees the tears that I cannot cry in front of others. This makes little sense to some. Wouldn’t it be better for Him to remove the source of the tears? How can I love a God who answers my prayers with “no?”
My friend Andrew is dying; a long, slow, painful death from pancreatic cancer. I don’t know why God has chosen not to heal him. I don’t know why he’s had to suffer such torture. As I’m sure I’ve said, probably more than once, in this series, the “why” isn’t always the point. Sometimes, it’s the “what.” In Andrew’s case, his faith burns brightly against the black backdrop of adversity, drawing all who come across his words to look and see. To marvel at such intense faith in the middle of such suffering.
I believe that there is a purpose to this, that it is part of God’s plan. I can’t see it, and I don’t know what part I may be playing, but I choose to believe that there IS a reason for the ordeal.
And I’ll play my part. God will remember my name.
Andrew knows that God knows. He knows that God is right there, holding him tightly as the agony shakes his very bones. He knows that one day, sooner than he or the rest of us would like, he will look God in the face. He knows that what he endures now will suddenly become a distant memory, not worth thinking about when compared to the glory and peace of Eternity.
There’s nothing fatalistic or morbid in that.
Andrew encourages and inspires me. His example helps me to remember that God is also with me. He knows. He sees. He understands.
So when I need to cry, when I just can’t handle the pain any longer, I do it in His presence. I know He won’t judge or reject me. I know He won’t try to offer me the latest medical treatment, science-based or otherwise. He simply sits with me, the essence of empathy, love, and truth. And those things are power, you know. It’s not just the miracle of Divine healing. It’s the miracle of faith anchored deep in the Person of Jesus. The miracle of a life transformed, bit by bit and certainly slowly, into one that pleases Him.
Do I hate God? Do I despite Him?
I look at the scar on my belly and feel the swelling in my side, and I love Him more – because He felt the pain of a broken body. He felt the sting of torn skin. He felt the strangeness of malfunctioning organs. Whatever aches plague me, He felt them, too, as He hung on the cross for those long hours. His body, broken for me, whose body is broken.
There’s something wonderful in that.
For all posts in the Sisters series, go here.