Sunday’s Gospel reading has been one of my favorites ever since my protestant days. If you missed it, it was Mark 5:21-43. It starts in sorrow and desperation. A synagogue official’s daughter is on the brink of death. A woman who has been suffering for 12 long years is in the crowd. Jesus stands before them. What will they do?
The woman is ill. She is considered unclean and is an outcast in her community. Doctors have been unable to help her and she has suffered greatly at their hands. Now she has spent all that she has and has nothing left. No prospects for healing, no help from her community. She hears about this man, Jesus. She hears that he is a teacher, that he works miracles on the sick and the unworthy. In the midst of her suffering, in the depths of her desperation she sees hope and she BELIEVES. “If I but touch His clothes, I shall be cured.” She believes so completely and so fervently that she defies all logic and social convention to reach out and touch His cloak. She is completely healed, her blood dries up, and she and Jesus know it immediately. When Jesus confronts her she is fearful and trembling but she tells Him the whole truth. And He tells her that her faith has saved her.
The synagogue official is told that he shouldn’t bother Jesus anymore because his daughter has passed away. Jesus ignores the report and tells the father, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” They go to the house and everyone is mourning and weeping. He tells them that the child is not dead, she is only asleep. They mock Him and He kicks them out. Then he goes to the girl and tells her “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” And she does.
These stories resonate with my soul. I understand desperation and hopelessness. I know what rock bottom looks and feels like. And yet I can’t say that I have ever turned to God with the complete trust that these people do. I have wanted to, but there are always doubts in my heart. What would people say? Why bother God with my little problem? Why would God even care about me?
I don’t know what people would say but this would be an opportunity to be an example to other people about faith in God, the same way this bible story is an inspiration to me.
God cares about all my problems, big or small. He is my heavenly Father. He might chuckle at me sometimes (or I imagine He does when I bewail the lack of a good parking space or that I broke a nail) but He still loves me completely, faults and all.
Of course He cares about me. After He made the universe and all of its wonders, the heavens and the earth, all of the animals and incredible people who have walked the planet, He decided He needed me too. What an amazing testament to His love for me, His belief that I am capable of amazing things too, things I haven’t even dreamt of!
My friends, don’t allow fear and doubt to cloud your heart. Don’t hide from the Lord when you need Him, just because you don’t understand your own self worth. You don’t have to trust yourself, you need only trust HIM and through you He can work His wonders. It can be so hard to open yourself up to the unknown but it is completely worth it.
“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
Do you have trouble turning to God in your time of need? What do you do when you are struggling? Let me know in the comments!