➤ by Isabel Jennings
Have you ever had a sickness or ailment or disability that lasted much longer than it should have? A cough that lasted for weeks? Knee pain that lasted for months? Back pain that lasted for years?
Did you go from doctor to doctor, and then to a pharmacist, chiropractor, or physiotherapist? Did you try different types of medicine, conventional and non-conventional, but nothing changed your desperate situation?
Did you pray and pray for a lost family member, and see no change? Did it feel like everyone around you was living a normal life, and you were stuck? Maybe you have stood on God's promises but haven't seen what your faith is believing for yet.
If so, then you probably can relate to the woman who bled for 12 years. Her story is found in the gospels of Luke (Lk 8:43-48) and Mark (Mk 5:25-34). The Bible doesn’t tell us what caused her illness, but it does say that she spent all her money trying to find a doctor to make herself better. She went from doctor to doctor, but each one just made her worse.
And it wasn’t just about the inconvenience of the bleeding for her. In Jewish law, she was to remain away from other people while she bled.
So, for 12 years, this woman had been completely isolated. She couldn’t go to the well with the other women. She couldn’t go to weddings or Jewish feasts. She couldn’t go to the Temple. She couldn’t even eat with someone else.
She had no hope of getting better and she was all alone. Being sick is difficult, but being sick and alone would have been unbearable.
We can only wonder how she had heard about Jesus and His miracles. What did she see or hear that encouraged her own faith so much?
Did her desperation drive her to follow Jesus there, to a city where no one knew her and no one would prevent her from approaching Him so that she could try to be healed?
Did she hear more about what Jesus was doing the closer she came to him? Did her faith grow stronger the more she heard about Him?
Somehow she believed that if only she just touched that fringe on his cloak, even if unbeknownst to Him, she would be healed. In the Old Testament, God instructed His people in Numbers 15:37-41 to add fringes (tassels) with a blue cord to the corners of their garments.
This fringe was a reminder that they were God’s chosen people and that they were to keep His commands. Only the Jews did this, and so that fringe represented their identity: who they were and their covenant with God.
Touching Jesus’ fringe was a sign that she identified with who He was. She had heard, and she believed in Who He was.
When she touched that fringe, that act of faith in Him instantly healed her.
She felt it immediately. She knew she was whole, and that her bleeding had stopped. There was nothing supernatural about the fringe that brought healing. That woman put her faith in Jesus that day. That simple touch was all she needed, and that is what made her well.
Where did she find the faith to do this small act? Had she heard Jesus’ words about what faith the size of a mustard seed could do? Was that the word that she held on to?
What word are you holding on to in this season of waiting? Do you believe that God hears your prayers? Does the waiting have you feeling like God won’t do what He said? Has someone told you that you don’t deserve to come to Him, or that you don’t have enough faith?
If you are waiting for God to answer your prayers, then you are in good company:
You are in the hands of a loving God, and maybe you can’t yet see how He will redeem this period in your life, or it feels like He will never change the circumstances. But, if He promised something, then He will do it. If His word says it, He will do it. Don’t give up.
If you are suffering right now, if you are in the middle of a circumstance that makes you feel like God has forgotten you, if you are sick or broken-hearted, and you have no direction, then take heart. You are in the “and” moment. It is that period of time that occurs between “I sought the Lord. He heard” and “delivered me.”
The devil will try to fill those “and” seasons with: God doesn’t care. God isn’t going to do it for you. God is punishing you. God doesn’t love you anymore. You don’t have enough faith. Those promises were for the people in the Bible, but God doesn’t do miracles anymore.
Don’t let him fill those “and” seasons. It’s not until we look back, like David did in Psalm 34, that we see what God was doing in the “and” season.
David said it best, talking from experience. Hold on to his experiences today:
Verse 6: This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
Verse 8: Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Verse 9: There is no want for those who trust Him.
Verse 10: Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
Verse 15: The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.
Verse 18: The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite heart.
Build up your faith, like the woman with the bleeding issue, and determine that you will touch Jesus with your faith.
Pray, find your promise in His Word, and then walk in the middle of the “and” season taking one step at a time, one prayer at a time, and one day at a time.
Remind yourself daily that you can trust Him, even if it takes years. Keep your eyes on Him. He sees you. He knows you. He has not forgotten.
Don’t give up just because it hasn’t happened yet.
Unless stated otherwise, all Bible passages quoted in blue are from the KJV translation.