Daughter, your faith has healed you...
I wonder tonight - how many of us are suffering? Life can truly throw some curve balls our way, can't it? Maybe it's physical. Maybe it's emotional. Maybe it's spiritual. Can you relate? I've spent many years suffering in every form--from chronic pain to spiritual longings. And I know what it feels like to want God to just heal all of it. To stop the rollercoaster of emotion, to know the peace God promises. It's hard, isn't it? Especially when years go by and our prayers still await an answer. To wait is the hardest thing we can ever do - at least in my experience. The not knowing truly tests our faith. Is it real or isn't it?
But what I love about this verse is...well, several things. First, Jesus calls the woman "Daughter". At a heart level, that word carries a very intimate, loving feeling. I'm a daddy's girl, so to be called "daughter" always meant a lot to me, especially when my dad told me I was special, a gift to him from God. Not every daughter feels that way, I know, as not every dad is as loving as mine was, but our God--HE is a loving father, and when He calls us "Daughter" we can bank on knowing He sees us, He hears us, He loves as as someone very special in His eyes.
The other thing I love about this verse is that faith was a catalyst to healing. We are all broken at some place in our lives, whether we realize it or not. We are a needy people.
Oh I know, the American spirit tells us to be self-sufficient and independent. But the Christian spirit, what Jesus promoted, was dependence of His Father, trust in His love, faith in His promises, even when we could not see what was around the next bend. And that's not easy.
The truth is, we want to be our own boss. True confession here - I always hated people trying to tell me what to do. In fact, if people told me I couldn't, I worked to prove them wrong. In some cases, being told we can't destroys a person's self-confidence. In mine, it made it stronger because of that stubborn streak I carry. (I'm told it comes from being German and red-haired but that sounds a bit prejudicial, so I will just say that I'm either tenacious, which is the good side of stubborn, or rebellious, which is the part that tells me I'm a sinner in need of saving.) And both are true.
My faith isn't always as strong as I'd like it to be. I struggle with trusting that God understands, that He's listening, that what troubles me also troubles Him and that He's doing something about it that I can't see. Like my health. That chronic pain thing? It gets old after a while. And I don't like dealing with it. I want to feel normal all of the time. And maybe God is working to make that happen. At least He is leading me to people who are trying to help me.
But He may also say, "My grace is sufficient for you." I want Him to say "Your faith has healed you, go in peace and be freed from your suffering." All of my suffering - the kind that changes with the day.
And I believe He can do that for all of us. But I also believe that sometimes suffering is His tool to remind us that we need Him. There have been many many times in my life when I've felt like - enough! But God gently whispers His love in my heart and reminds me that HE is enough for me. That He IS working on the things that cause me to suffer in whatever manner that may be.
He isn't blind to what hurts me or what hurts you. He knows. He deeply knows. And what's more, He cares. Sometimes the waiting, the trial of not knowing is for our benefit. To teach us that He is trustworthy. That He is God and there is no other. That He has the power to free us, even if it doesn't seem to be happening on our timetable.
That woman Jesus spoke to - I want her to be me, don't you? I want to know that suffering is temporary. Or as one of my favorite songs says, "Let me know the struggle ends, let me see redemption win."
Because honestly? The greatest struggle I have ever known is the one that involves prayer. Prayer for people who are also struggling. Prayer for relationships to heal. Prayer for everyone to know that God is real and that He loves them and wants to truly know them.
Next to prayer, there is no wrestling. There is no stronger force of fighting against evil. There is no greater way to touch the heart of God. Prayers smell sweet to God. As weird as that sounds, I think every one of His senses tune into us when we pray.
And couple that prayer with faith? The more we trust Him, even when we do not understand, the sooner we will carry with us His peace that passes knowledge or understanding. This is not a temporary peace brought on by things like repeating certain words or meditating on certain sounds or anything we can do. This is a gift from God given through faith.
Faith that can bring an end to our suffering and give us hope to step out into the world and live for Him. For His glory, not ours. To know His healing on every level, but most especially in our hearts.
Selah~ #liveloveprayhope #faithplushopeequalstrust #leannotonwhatyouthinkyouunderstandbutongodstruth #whatreallymattersintheend