In the scriptures, there are so many individuals with whom we can relate to and apply their experiences in our lives to help us learn about how we can come closer to our Savior. One of my favorite characters is a woman spoken of in the New Testament, not named by name, who was healed by faith when she pressed forward and touched the hem of Christ’s garment. This story has really come alive to me as I have related to this woman many times throughout my life and especially now on my mission. In the past nine months I have had the blessed privelage to see in others lives the miracle of healing that occurs when an individual develops faith in Jesus Christ, comes to Him, and allows Him to heal their wounds.
In Mark 5, this woman’s experience with Christ is beautifully written. Not too much is said about her as far as the details of her life, but we do know that she has been suffering from an “issue of blood” for about twelve years. In that time, she had seen many physicians and thus, I imagine it must have been a horrible, painful condition or disease. The individuals that she sought help from were educated in their fields, men of great reputation perhaps having a history of curing and helping many others who suffered from mortal afflictions. And yet after having “suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had…[she] was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.” I am not sure what I would do were I her. During this time, even on top of the pain that such a condition may have brought about, I can only imagine the ridicule she must have experienced and the feelings of unacceptance and lonliness that befell her over those twelve long years. Being looked on and labeled as unclean and diseased. In this condition, she hears tale of a Healer who is coming to pass through her town. From the reputation that preceeds him and possibly the testimony of those who have been witness to his miraculous touch, this woman develops a seed of faith. She has not seen him; however, she feels that “If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.” Thus, she comes forth from her dwelling place with hope in her heart, and then she sees the crowd, thronging multitudes of people. But that does not hold her back. She pushes through the crowd with her weakened body trying her best to block out all that is telling her you are not worthy, you are not good enough, or even possibly you are beyond being healed, a lost cause. She did not stop. Believing and seeking, she pressed foward to touch but the hem of Christ’s garment. “And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.” Then, as the Savior aknowledges her and speaks to offers those comforting words “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”
I am always amazed when it speaks of her suffering with this “issue of blood” or disease of some sort that she suffered with for twelve years! After that long, I am afraid I would not have had even the ambition to go where a thronging crowd would be and push my way through it that I might have a chance (would it really happen?) to be healed. Especially after she had already tried remedies of various physicians. But had she not acted and pressed foward and sought out this Jesus of Nazareth, the greatest healer of all, that plague may have been the curse of years to come. I believe she had to prove herself and her desire to come to Christ. She could have all the faith in the world and sat on her chair at home, wishing she had the strength or making excuses like if he comes to my house and heals me, then I will believe in him. But she did not! She proved her faith and did not let the world stand in her way of seeking out Christ. We must prove the same thing. We may be suffering in our own trials and pain, and like this woman’s, they may even last for years. We can choose to sit at home and sulk in our harships or we can press on through the multitudes of voices and people and struggles that seem to be blocking our way and we can live in Christ!
She had done all she knew that was in her power to be healed and yet could find no relief. Sometimes we are asked to endure for an amount of time pain and trial that comes here in mortality, but when given the opporunity to see Christ and go to Him, she put forth the effort and was made whole. By coming unto Christ with faith, we can find that we too can be made “perfectly whole.” (Matt 14:36) He did not withhold his virute and healing power from those who sought Him. He did not send away the sick, but instead beckoned to each one of them in His loving way “come unto me” (Matt 11:28). Do you have wounds that need to be healed? Do you have fears that keep you from going forward? Do you ever feel alone or forsaken? Is there a person in your life that you are struggling to forgive? Please, let Him heal you. I know that it is through Jesus Christ that the deepest heartaches can be consoled, the hateful grudge can be let go, addictive sin can be forsaken, and your every wound can be entirely and completely healed. As we help one another and increase our faith in Jesus Christ, we will find the strenth to push through every obstacle, our own thronging multitudes, to touch our Savior and be made whole.
There are many who are waiting to “[hear] of Him.”