God is on your Side – He rewards Faith - 8 October 2019

Louise Gevers

“Just then a woman had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch the edge of his cloak, I will be healed.’ Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter, he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed from that moment.” Matthew 9:20-22

Suffering, loneliness, commended for her faith

The other day I was surprised to find my vivacious ninety-something-year-old friend feeling sad and lonely. She’d had visits from many friends and neighbours, yet she’d realised that something was missing. As dear as her friends were to her, they couldn’t ease her longing for her son on holiday in another country; she was missing his visits. As we chatted, she cheered up and began talking about his return when he would share about all his experiences with her. Happily, for her this was a short-term situation, but sometimes it’s not.

Loneliness comes to everyone at one time or another, even to people who enjoy being alone. Distance, grief, illness, or just not being on the same wavelength as others can bring it on, and then come feelings of separation, depression, and rejection. Even a common illness like morning sickness can make an expectant mum feel isolated and misunderstood when it’s severe and long-lasting. Ill people are often misunderstood people.

We can only imagine the loneliness and suffering that the poor woman who had had an issue of blood for twelve years must have endured before Jesus healed her. She was weak, tired from loss of blood, and poor because all her money had been spent on doctors with no success; she was shunned by others as someone “unclean”, and barred from entering the temple. For twelve years she struggled alone.

But Jesus was on her side: “Courage, my daughter, your faith has made you well!” (GNT) This was His response to her reaching out in faith.

We may cringe for this rejected, suffering woman at having to confess to Him in front of the crowds that she was the one who had touched Him; but then don’t we rejoice with her when, in front of the crowds, Jesus heals her and commends her for her faith in a most gentle and respectful manner and removes any fear of rebuke? He instantly makes her acceptable: ceremonially clean to the temple and therefore society, effectively ending her twelve years of pain, shame and loneliness. In His compassion and love, He meets her deepest needs.

Jesus will do the same for us when we turn to Him in faith.

Prayer: Father, thank You for meeting all the needs of the people who trust in You through Jesus Christ our Lord; You still heal the sick and restore the poor and lonely today. Thank You for being on our side. Amen

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