Depending upon the hand you are dealt in life, unforeseen events can ruin any hopes that you have to live a normal life. One woman in the Bible suffered from a rare bleeding disorder for 12 years. During this ordeal, this woman spent her life savings on a potential cure. Whatever good intentions these doctors possessed, each diagnosis, medicine and treatment failed. Prior to hearing about Jesus, any thoughts of resuming a normal life were gone. With nothing to lose, this woman fought her way through the crowds, reaching for one of the tassels on Jesus’rabbinical robe. The moment her hand touched Jesus, she was immediately healing. Sensing this release of power, Jesus sought out this woman. The purpose of this conversation was to clarify the true reason for this miracle. When science tells you, “that’s impossible,” faith is the vessel God uses to defy logic.
A woman [in the crowd] had [suffered from] a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26 and had endured much [suffering] at the hands of many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but instead had become worse, Mark 5:25-26.
In the days that followed, Jesus encounters a man who spent most of his days at a healing pool. An invalid for nearly 4 decades, the idea of walking seemed to be a long shot. This body of water in Bethesda was known for healing various illnesses through the years. According to local reports, angels of the Lord stirred these waters at appointed seasons, with the first person to enter being healed. Unfortunately, the slow reflexes of this paralyzed man prevented him from being the first one in the water. Looking depressed, Jesus wasn’t sure if this man wanted to be healed. This dialogue was necessary as doubt prevents miracles from occurring. Thus, after this exploratory phase is complete, Jesus had another obstacle to overcome, the legalism of the Jewish Sabbath. Religious leaders added man made regulations which prevented any type of physical exertion that included healing. Subsequently, Jesus uses common sense as a way to ask permission to restore this man. Remaining silent, Jesus goes ahead anyway, choosing good over doing nothing. Against all odds, this man got up and began walking for the first time in 38 years.
There was a certain man there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to get well?” – John 5:5-6
In the past 20 years, I have battled iritis, arthritis of the eye. Until the last 2 years, I endured periods of pain and discomfort. Yet, today my vision is fading in my right eye. Its sad to say, but I’ve accepted poor vision as a normal way of life. Deep down, I want to believe that a miracle is possible based upon the 2 passages above. However, maintaining the resolve of the woman with a bleeding disorder is tough to do. Perhaps, some of you have a similar issue, crippled by an emotional, physical or spiritual ailment. Instead of accepting your condition as the new normal, faith can help you rise above the mountains in front of you. Therefore, don’t go down without a fight, wrestling with God in prayer. You may have to wait 12 or 38 years to receive answers, but if you battle like the persistent widow, Luke 18:1-8, there is a chance for a miracle to touch your life.
by Jay Mankus