I just love how much faith this woman had. For twelve long years she suffered with this illness; she tried all sorts of treatments with physicians, she spent all of her money, and not only did she see no improvement, she actually got worse. It had to have been so incredibly discouraging. I imagine that towards the end of those twelve years she was left with little hope. However, little did she know, in the Bible the number twelve often represents completeness.
I think this woman was at the point of discouragement where she was willing to try anything because it seemed like there was nothing left to try. And right as she was getting to this point in her life she heard about Jesus. There were many mixed viewpoints about him during that time, but this woman was at the point where she had nothing left -- no money, no hope. But when she heard that a healer was on his way I imagine her heart bursting with hope once more. I like to think that she was giddy with excitement like a child on Christmas Eve.
I would love to have the faith that this woman had; I hope someday I do. When I first started coming to church it took me several months to begin to have a desire for the Lord in my life. But I think that's because my life was very comfortable; my family never had financial struggles, I had a car, I had good friends, I had never really seen any hardships so I wasn't really looking to be saved out of the life I was living.
But this woman in Mark 5 was desperately seeking a way to hold onto her health. More than anything she wanted to be healed. So to hear that there was a man who could give her exactly what she had been longing for was all she needed. And suddenly there was nothing more in life that she wanted than to find this man. I'm sure it wasn't hard to find Jesus since large crowds followed him.
When that woman finally found Jesus I wonder if she got discouraged for a moment when she saw how busy he was. But she didn't let that be an excuse. She didn't think that maybe other people deserved a healing more. She didn't tell herself that she'd just come back tomorrow. She didn't give up; she pressed through that crowd! And it was still so congested that all she could do was touch his garment. I imagine that many people brushed against Jesus' garment that day and throughout his ministry, but none of the others were desperate enough and filled with enough faith for it to do anything for them.
But this precious woman knew that all she had to do was touch Jesus' garment and she'd be healed. And as soon as she touched it she was healed! And Jesus felt it, he felt virtue leaving his body that he hadn't directed to leave. And so he asked who touched his clothes and his disciples thought he was a little crazy for asking due to the fact that it was so busy, of course someone was bound to accidentally touch him. But Jesus knew better; he knew something miraculous had happened!
And eventually that sweet woman came forward and told him what had happened, and in Mark 5:34, Jesus said, "...Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague."
After twelve excruciating years she was made complete; made whole. If you're in a trying season of life right now look to this woman for encouragement! While her plague did last quite a while, it didn't last forever. God never wastes our pain! When we are going through something, there is a reason for it, we are meant to be learning something, and God wants us to draw closer to Him!
In Jesus name keep pressing on! Press on through heartbreak, hurt feelings, physical illnesses, mental illnesses, and any other discouraging trial you may go through. Because as long as you can still grasp his garment, you will be made whole. That's a promise! Whether you're made whole on this earth or the new earth to come, you will be made whole!