Sunday, August 10, 2008

Touching His Garment

Friends, first please let me apologize for not getting anything new up to the site in quite some time. I've had a bit of writer's block lately, and can't seem to form much of a thought, much less a sentence. Forgive me. I thought I would share this with you tonight though, as this is what's on my mind.

I’ve had an ear infection for almost a month now. I’ve had two rounds of antibiotics, though they have not been a full course, but all that I had access to. So, my ear has felt better for a little while, and then pain comes back quite intensely. It had been feeling quite better for a few days, but when I awoke this morning, the pain was back, and this evening, it is so intense that I am unable to move my jaw without great pain.

As I was mulling over my pain this evening, I began to think about the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. According to the Gospel of Mark, she had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd that was around him and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” And indeed she was healed.

You see, at some point, someone came and told this woman about Jesus. Someone told her of the things that He had been doing and the miracles that He was able to perform. Someone told her the story of Jesus, and it so touched her soul, it so fueled her with hope that she made a conscious decision to go after Him. She decided to risk everything, even to the point of risking her life, in order to simply touch the hem of his garment.

According to Leviticus 15:25-32, “When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. Any bed she lies on while her discharge continues will be unclean, as is her bed during her monthly period, and anything she sits on will be unclean, as during her period. Whoever touches them will be unclean; he must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening.

“When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the Lord for the uncleanness of her discharge.

“You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place, which is among them.

“These are the regulations for a man with a discharge, for anyone made unclean by an emission of semen, for a woman in her monthly period, for a man or a woman with a discharge, and for a man who lies with a woman who is ceremonially unclean.”

This brings to mind several thoughts, first of which is absolute gratitude and praise that we do not live under Law of Moses, but live under the Law of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:21). But it also makes me wonder why, when God Himself created our bodies to function in this manner (at least to have regular monthly periods), why does He then call it unclean, enough so to defile His dwelling place? That is probably a discussion that should be saved for another time, but it was just a thought. Back to the original point.

This poor woman had been considered unclean for 12 years, unable to touch anyone without making them unclean, unable to sit or lie anywhere without making it unclean. I cannot imagine what a lonely life that would lead to, what despair and hopelessness that would lead to. Probably enough to cause a woman to risk life and limb looking for healing, willing to be stoned to death for the consequences of touching a man, a rabbi, while in such an unclean state. She would rather die trying to be healed, than simply stay in the hopeless state that she had found herself. Scripture says that she had given everything looking for a cure, and she only became worse.

But then there was Jesus. Hope. Healing. Jesus. She made a choice that day, a premeditated act to go against all that her culture had ever taught her, to set aside all other things that would hold her back, and as the crowd pressed in around him, she did it. She reached out her hand and touched the hem of his garment, the tassel of his robe, and immediately she was healed. Scripture says that power went out from Jesus and she was healed in that moment.

Tonight I am making the same choice. I want to touch the hem of His garment. I am asking for Your healing power, Savior. I am asking to be healed. I have exhausted my resources here, and instead of getting better, the pain has grown worse. If only I can touch Your clothes, I will be healed. Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known (Habbakkuk 3:2). You’ve done it before, as I see in Your Word. Do it again Jesus. Heal me, Adonai, that I may be freed from this suffering.

Grace and Peace, y'all.

5 comments:

  1. Jesus, Son of David, Son of God, Son of man, have mercy on her.

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  2. I am sorry to hear that this pain has not left you. I am glad you shared what you shared though because there are some elements of it I have not thought on that I wish to meditate over. Thank you.

    In the mean time, I want you to know that my wife and I will pray for you. I thought Danielle had it bad when her first round didn't work. They gave her an even more potent antibiotic after after 2 and half weeks, it was finally gone. Now you, a month now you say... :/

    I think of the many faithful who are healed daily all around the world who have no health care at all. I then think of the world that I live where there is always an urgent care or ER near enough by. Doctors are wonderful and I believe God put them here for us in times of need, but boy do I long for the Great Physician and the pure faith of some many that bring about such miraculous healing. I pray that the Great Physician, our Lord Jesus Christ, would hear me now and bring the healing that only he can bring and provide me the faith in your healing that only he can provide.

    My family loves your family, Shauna. Know that we are with you in spirit as you are blessed daily by His mighty work through you and His pure healing in you.

    Let your body be whole.

    The Franciscos

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  3. Danielle FranciscoAugust 13, 2008 at 10:39 AM

    Hey lady. I know this is coming kind of late but please know that we pray for you guys daily and I have been lifting you up in prayer even more lately regarding your health. I have had so much ear trauma in my life that I can sympathize with your pain completely. It is horrendous to have pain like that. I am praying that God's peace and grace will rest upon you in your time of need and that his healing power will cover you completely. Praise God for his abundant love and mercy!

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  4. I often read your comments on the LPM blog and for some reason today I decided to come for a visit. Well after reading your post I know God sent me here. I have been living with a chronic illness for over 14 months (not that I am counting) and am desperate for healing. For some reason He is saying "no" or "not yet". Thank you for the reminder to draw close to HIM.

    I don't know know if you are still in pain as this is several days after your post. But I will pray as God brings you to my mind.

    What a great work you and your family are doing there!! I will be back again to get to know you better.

    -Sheryl

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  5. Precious friends,
    thank you so much for your prayers. By His great grace and mercy, my ear is healed! Y'all are such a blessing to me!
    Love,
    Shauna

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