Lenten Devotional // Day 17

Monday, March 21
HEALING POWER by Madi Denton

Mark 5:24b-34
A swarm of people were following Jesus, crowding in on him. A woman was there who had been bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a lot under the care of many doctors, and had spent everything she had without getting any better. In fact, she had gotten worse. Because she had heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothes. She was thinking, If I can just touch his clothes, I’ll be healed. Her bleeding stopped immediately, and she sensed in her body that her illness had been healed.
At that very moment, Jesus recognized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”
His disciples said to him, “Don’t you see the crowd pressing against you? Yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But Jesus looked around carefully to see who had done it.
The woman, full of fear and trembling, came forward. Knowing what had happened to her, she fell down in front of Jesus and told him the whole truth. He responded, “Daughter, your faith has healed you; go in peace, healed from your disease.”

Reflection
My favorite line in this story is the last one. Jesus, after taking the time to find the woman who had touched him, takes a moment to stop and hear her story. She shares “the whole truth” with him, and then he sends her off in peace, healed.

The woman was suffering from a chronic illness that seems to have no cure. Instead, it was progressively getting worse. And so, in an act of courageous, brave, and desperately hopeful faith, she ventured into the crowd to seek healing through Jesus.

We know her physical ailments, but we can only guess the inner turmoil she endured. The anxiety, fear, frustration, anger, or resentment of not knowing what tomorrow would bring. That feeling of unsettled free fall into the unknown.

And after Jesus sends her out, we lose touch. We have no idea what happened to her. Did she encounter a full, healthy life beyond this encounter? That’s something we’ll never know.

But, we do know that Jesus didn’t just physically address what was happening to her. He also extended to her a sense of healing, hope, comfort and peace in her spirit. And, I believe that kind of healing is extended to us each and every day. Jesus wants to offer us a peace that surpasses all sense of understanding, especially when we’re confronted with situations or moments that leave our souls feeling broken and alone.

I chose to remain open to the possibility of the physical healing power of Jesus. I do believe this woman was healed. And yet, I know that this isn’t always the reality for the things we endure. I do, however, also believe the peace that Jesus offers is always healing to the internal hurt we carry so that we might experience joy and the fullness of life in every moment.

There’s healing that can come from vulnerably sharing our story with trusted others, especially when we feel seen and heard. Just like Jesus heard and healed this woman, I believe he wants to hear your story and grant you healing peace, also.

Questions for Contemplation
What does the knowledge of Jesus’ healing power mean to you? Have you experienced this healing before? What did that experience feel like?

Prayer
God,
We’re all in need of healing, in one form or another. We bring those things to you, with the hope that you’ll extend your peace that surpasses all understanding. Thank you for your willingness to listen as we honestly share what we’re going through, and for your eagerness to mend what’s going on inside of us. Amen.

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