Finding Healing in the Waiting
We are wounded people. Life hurts us and can knock all the wind out of us. It can be difficult to trust the goodness of God when we realize that He is able shield us from these painful places but often chooses not to.
I think of the woman in Mark 5 who had been bleeding for twelve straight years. We are told that she had tried all sorts of doctors and medicines to no avail. She would have been considered unclean and, therefore, to be avoided at all costs. No righteous man would have wanted her. No woman would have dared to spend time with her. She was living as an outcast in deep physical and emotional pain.
I’m sure you would agree that God could have healed her at any time during those twelve lonely years, but He did not. He could have used one of the physicians she saw to find a cure. He could have miraculously healed her because we know He is God and He can do that. But He didn’t.
When the woman hears about Jesus, she resolves to find Him. Twelve long years of waiting and this man comes along claiming to be the son of God and a Healer, so she knows that He may be her last chance of ever getting better. She thinks, “If I may touch but His clothes, I shall be whole” (Mark 5:28).
She risks everything to go out and find Jesus. She risks people’s accusing remarks that she is unworthy to be near the Messiah because she is ceremonially unclean. She risks Jesus’s annoyance if He’s too busy with more important things to care about than her problem. Most of all, she risks deep disappointment if Jesus doesn’t come through for her.
But she goes anyway. She finds Him. She touches Him. And she is healed.
Jesus commends her for her faith, but He doesn’t apologize for waiting twelve years to heal her. In the Lord’s perfect plan, He allowed her to suffer so that she would find Him that day. If this woman wasn’t sick, she may have never encountered Jesus because she wouldn’t have had any reason to go looking for Him.
Jesus allows us to experience pain because it draws us into His arms. God wants us so desperately that He will do whatever it takes for us to come to Him, even if that means letting us suffer. He leads us into barren places because that is where we fall deeper into love.
“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.” -Hosea 2:14
My twelve years was my time of deep discontentment and shame over not being in a relationship. I have always hated being single because I believed it meant I wasn’t good enough. That I was undesirable. That no one could ever want me. I poured all of my time and energy into pursuing relationships, desperately trying to make someone see something in me so I could find fulfillment. But once the Lord revealed this sickness to me, He romanced me until I came to sit at His feet. He allowed me to ache — really, really ache — until I was so empty and wrecked that He was all I had left and I stumbled Home. I have found healing for the deepest, most broken places of my heart by drawing near to Him and reaching out to touch His garments.
I love this woman’s story because I have found the principle to be true time and time again in my life: when I draw near to Jesus, I am made well. When I linger and dwell in His presence, He has always been faithful to heal. It doesn’t matter how long it will take (twelve years, even). It doesn’t matter how messy the sickness. He will do what He must to restore every broken place that is in you.
So, what is your twelve years?
Is it a sickness? A sin? A shattered relationship? A broken place in your heart? Dwell near to Jesus. Press into His presence. Run after Him. Sit in wonder and adoration at His feet. Read His love letter to you that is the Word of God. Jesus brings healing and goodness because He is the way things were meant to be. Simply being close to Him will make you whole. This is his promise to you.