“As Jesus was saying this, the leader of a synagogue came and knelt before him. “My daughter has just died,” he said, “but you can bring her back to life again if you just come and lay your hand on her.” So Jesus and his disciples got up and went with him. Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.”
Matthew 9:18-22 (NLT)
Do you ever wonder if your problems are too small to bring to God? Sometimes I can go there. I hear stories of friends who have serious illnesses, or see the plight of the homeless, relationships unraveled by broken trust, the burdens of those facing abuse. I then look at my situation and think, “why would God care about what is going on with me? There are much bigger issues needing His attention!” As a result, I shrink back from inviting God into my area of specific need or if I do, I do so with wavering faith, not really expecting Him to do anything about it.
In the passage, I wonder if the bleeding woman knew that Jesus was on His way to raise a dead girl back to life. If she knew that, I wonder if she might have thought “Maybe I am not as bad, at least I am still alive.” Any hesitation in pursuing healing, might have caused her to lose sight of Jesus in the crowd that surrounded Him, and she might have shrunk back to a place of silent banishment in a society that thought her condition rendered her unclean and unwelcomed. As I reflected on this passage, I asked myself “What are the crowds in my life that I have to press through to reach God?” Various things came up for me: struggle with anger, feelings of abandonment and rejection, wrestling for purpose and a sense of significance, daily demands of life… But the crowd of doubt really stood out for me.
I have doubted God’s calling. I have doubted his care. I have doubted his plan and purpose for my life. Ruminating on these doubts crowded and stifled my faith and caused me to expect that my prayers would be unanswered. I reasoned that my “bleeding” would not be healed and my problems too small for God to care. The enemy loves it when I choose to stay in the crowd of doubt and lose sight of Jesus because then he (Satan) can try to convince me that God’s care and power are out of reach for me.
I am glad the woman in this passage pressed through any reservation she might have felt and reached out to Jesus because it shows me that even if my problems are “smaller” or seemingly less serious than others’, I can still come to Jesus. I love the faith of the woman in this passage – even 12 years of suffering did not cause her to doubt; she knew that if she could “just touch His robe” healing would be certain.
Jesus’ compassion for the bleeding woman was just as much as His compassion for the dead girl and her father. And He has the same compassion for me – and for you.
If you are like me, struggling with a crowd of doubt, join me in borrowing the faith of the woman in the passage, and let us reach out confidently knowing that our prayers will touch Jesus’ heart and our healing is certain. It is not a matter of which problem is too small or which is worthy of His attention. Because of His care and love for us, He invites us to bring ALL our requests to Him.