Read Matthew 9:18-26.Like the story of the centurion in 8:5, this passage tells of two more tremendous acts of faith. And they were both rewarded with healing. But I have always been partial to the story of the woman. She had been sick for so long -- what could ever change that? But she knows if she just touches Jesus' garment, that's all she needs to be healed.
"She said to herself, 'If only I could touch his cloak, I will be healed." NIV
Did this act come out of desperation? After 12 years, was she willing to try anything. Whether or not she had reached her last straw, she obviously had faith in Jesus because He notes her faith. And she was instantly healed.
How often do I want to simply touch the hem of Jesus' cloak. I often forget that this simple act brings such healing. Caught up in busyness, frustrations, to do lists, fatigue, unending jobs, pain, and even good things like ministry and time with family and friends, knocked out of our thinking like water pouring through a sieve is that we just need to touch His hem.
I need to touch it with praise - declaring Him as my King, Savior, Lord, and Master -- the Lover of my soul. I need to touch His hem with my thanks -- reciting the amazing gifts He has given me in family, friends, salvation, needs provided, joys shared. I need to touch His hem to hear His words of strength and power reminding me I am His and His Spirit lives within me. And after all that, I need to touch His hem to wipe the tears from my eyes. Tears sometimes from self-pity and pain, but also from a deep abiding love for One who loves me so passionately.
If I don't touch His hem by faith every day, my soul shrivels within me and my spirit becomes trapped in the tangled strings that attach me to this world. They hold me down from reaching the heights to which He wants to take me. I'm held bound to the mundane, when I could be living in the miraculous.
But if I will only touch His hem in faith, I will be healed and can "take heart." His comfort penetrates the layers of the world in which I have wrapped myself and restores me from the inside out. I'm bleeding no more, but am alive and well in Him.
- Research what "take heart" means. Find that phrase in other Scripture passages. That's also a promise for you.
- If you didn't read it before, look again at my posts on the centurion from Matthew 8:5-13 and the storm in Matthew 8:23-27.
- Even in the midst of the jostling of the crowd (Mark 5:24), Jesus felt the woman touch His cloak because her faith was so powerful. Has Jesus felt your touch of faith lately? If no, why not? What is standing in the way of your faith. If yes, celebrate again with thanksgiving.
- Figure out what your method of worship is. Different people worship in different ways, and it is in those times of worship that we are more likely to touch His hem. A great book on different ways to worship is Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas.