Monday, February 25, 2008

Taking Hold -- Hope Chronicles 20

Sometimes hope is so close we might reach out and touch it if we dare and be changed forever in taking that action.

The story always fascinates me. The woman was bleeding for 12 years, so for 12 years she was considered unclean. Scripture relates that she had suffered under many doctors but none had been able to heal her. But she was there in the crowd that surrounded Jesus. She had heard about him. She had it in her mind that if she could just get close enough, if she could just touch the hem of his garment, she would be well.

I imagine that she had to jostle her way through the crowd. She probably had to push her way through and endure angry glares and words as she did. I imagine she saw Jesus turn and start to walk away. With one last valiant effort, she reached out and grabbed his hem -- and it was enough. The bleeding stopped instantly.

Jesus immediately recognized that the power had left him. He stopped, but at first he didn't see her. He asks what the disciples consider a ludicrous question. "Who touched me?" Can't he see that the crowd has pressed in all around him? He refuses to go on until he knows.

She comes trembling and falls at his feet. "It was me. I touched you." I imagine she expected rebuke. But Jesus looks at her. Perhaps he helps her to her feet. He calls her "Daughter," an intimate term. He says, "Your faith has made you well."

Hope. "I hope that this or that happens." That is the way that the world thinks about it. It is a wishing for or wanting something. But for Christians, hope is more than that. It is reaching out and taking hold of Jesus, our hope. Hope in the worlds eyes is passive. But for Christians it is called to be active.

Hope is a daily reliance on one who cares deeply for me. Hope sees the possibilities and reaches out and grasps Jesus by the hand. It is taking our dreams, hurts, and fears and lying them in his lap. It is grasping Him in the midst of the storms of life.

Sometimes hope is so close we might reach out and touch it if we dare and be changed forever in taking that action. It is believing in spite of what circumstances or logic might dictate because the one we believe is trustworthy. Christian hope is based at every turn on the character of Jesus.

What action might God be calling you to today?


Janel said...

I love this story, too. I love it because she reaches out to just touch him and be healed. He wants to know who touched him because he wants to tell her, yes, you are healed, but don't go away from me - I have so much more for you!

I love that. Sometimes we just want a piece of God and then to run away back to our life. A quick fix. He wants us to have so much more - all of Him.

Thanks for sharing this Amy! Great story.

Jill sent me a voucher for a free magazine subscription today! Yay! Thanks for hooking me up to that contest. It is the only blog contest I have ever won!

Lelia Chealey said...

That woman is one of my Bible favorites! I just adore her courage & faith...and hope.
Thanks for a good insight Amy!