Love

 

It seemed so insignificant. I was out running, tripped and skinned my arm. No big deal. I cleaned it, applied antibiotic ointment and thought all was well.

I knew without a doubt it would heal and my only concern was making sure it didn’t leave a scar.

This would be called the BEGINNING–you know the part of every journey where we are full of faith, strong and even a little excited to see the amazing things God will do. If you are like me, I often take that last part for granted. He is who He says He is and does what He says He will do so it will all be good. Period.

Until something goes awry a few weeks later and you look like you are auditioning for a part in a horror film–don’t worry. I am not going to show you pictures. I like you too much.

Then you find yourself in The Middle–the place where faith is tested, adrenaline has been exhausted and where it becomes real easy to feel abandoned.

I bet the woman in the Bible with the blood condition felt the same way. For twelve years she bled. We don’t know why or how, but we do know that according to Levitical law (Lev 15:23-33) she was ostracized from society. That means no one could touch her, she could not live within the city walls, she couldn’t be around her family and essentially she was alone–FOR TWELVE YEARS. Friends, people die from that kind of isolation.

She had tried. Mark 5:26 tells us, “She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.” So now she is alone and destitute–for TWELVE YEARS.

But she doesn’t give up hope. She continues on. Sometimes I wonder just how much of The Word was poured into her as a child or if in her solitude the only thing that kept her from growing crazy was talking to a God who according to the teachings of the time she really didn’t have the ability to talk to directly–gotta love it that Jesus tore down that barrier for us.

Somehow she heard that Jesus was going to be near–a mere THIRTY miles away–and so she began walking and then violated the very law she had lived under when not only did she come around a crowd, she dared to touch someone. How cool is this, the Bible actually tells us what was going through her mind:

If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.  Mark 5:28

As soon as she reached out, “her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering,” Mark 5:29.

Now here is where is gets a little crazy, Jesus knew He had healed someone and He asks His disciples who touched Him.  They responded, “crowds are surrounding you.  Everyone is touching you.”  But Jesus was looking for the one–the special one–and soon she fell at his feet trembling with fear because she knew she had broken the law.

Now, this is the best part–prepare yourself friends.  Jesus looks at her and calls her DAUGHTER.  It is the ONLY time in The Gospel that Jesus uses this term of endearment.  With that one word He reestablished her place in society healing not only her body, but her mind and spirit.

Do you need to be called, “Daughter today?”  For this lady, it was the end of the Middle Years and the completion of her healing.

Unlike this woman, we have some extra tools available to us today.  We have The Word and all of God’s Promises, we have His Body–the people at church who will come along side us and lift us up like Aaron and Hur (Exodus 17:12) and most of all we have His Spirit that dwells in us to be our constant comfort and friend (John 14:26).

I used all three of these as I recently walked through my Middle.  There are some scars, but I am calling them beauty marks as they are testament to the wonderful things God revealed in the journey.

What about you?  Are you in the Middle right now?  Have you recently been called, “daughter?”  Please share. There is nothing more encouraging than be surrounded in love by His people.

Enjoy your day!

Deanna Duncan
Deanna Duncan is a Lifegroup leader, Prize31 author, wife, mom and photographer.