Take Heart, Daughter

Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,'” he said, “your faith has healed you”
(Matthew 9:22).

My daughters believe their daddy is a superhero with an amazing super power.  He can fix anything.  For years, they have brought me broken toys and pages ripped from books and announced that it was okay because “Daddy could fix it!”  They stand amazed as he pops wheels back on plastic strollers, adjusts the height of swings, and, even more impressive, repairs our broken dishwasher.

Then there was the day that my daughter, then just two years old, came to me, her hands outstretched and holding a DVD split completely into two separate pieces.  Her tiny fingers gripped something totally irreparable.

“Oh, baby,” I said, “It’s broken.  Really broken.”

“It’s okay,” she announced with confident faith, “Daddy can fix it.”

“Most of the time, sweetie, but not this one time,” I whispered.

We’ve all experienced the limited fix-it abilities of others and ourselves.  We can apply glue to relationships and duct tape to careers, we can piece together finances and snap hopes and dreams back into place after countless cracks and rips.

But then there’s the day—we’ve all had those moments—-when we grip in our fingers something irreparable.  No amount of gluing, taping, splicing, snapping, tying, pinning or sewing can undo the damage, fix the broken or resurrect the dead.  Not this time.

So, we bring what is diseased and dead to the God who has power over life and death. My commentary says: “Life in this world will be better if it is lived by a power beyond this world, the power of the resurrected, ascended, glorified Christ.”   We live in resurrection power when we trust Him even in the midst of impossible, overwhelming, hopeless circumstances.  We hold up to Him a mess of shattered pieces and declare, “Abba, Father, My Daddy can fix this.”

Because we know He healed what no one could heal.  Because we know He created a universe, a planet, and life with the power of His Words.  Because we know He even conquered death and overcame the grave.

Just like the woman who had bled for 12 years pushed through a crowd so she could touch Christ’s cloak.  For twelve years, she had been walking dead.  Her sickness made her unclean and cut off from community life, from marriage relationships, and from the ability to worship in the temple.  She shouldn’t have been in the crowd, wasn’t allowed to have contact with people for fear she would spread her uncleanness to them.  Her very presence there was risky.  Anyone could have condemned and publicly shamed her.

My husband reminds me that her story is one of salvation.  Her healing foreshadowed the cross as she transferred years of uncleanness and impurity onto Him with one touch.  He absorbed her uncleanness.  She now, for the first time in 12 years, was made clean, purified, holy, new—–once she was lost, but now she was found.  Then she made public confession when she, “knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.” (Mark 5:32-33).  Yes, the whole ugly truth of it all.

Our own redemption stories all echo hers.  Christ miraculously fixes what is unfixable.  He assumes our guilt so that we may receive forgiveness.

There’s something else, here, though, something about her faith that I need to learn.

Her healing didn’t happen by accident, an unexpected brushing against Jesus in the middle of a mob.  No, she had to decide to push through the crowd; she had to choose to reach out a shaking hand to grab the dusty hem of His robe.

So, it is with us.  We could stand on the outskirts of faith, not truly trusting God to heal and redeem us, but we would remain broken. Maybe we feel insignificant, maybe our problem doesn’t seem big enough or maybe it even appears too big for God to handle.  Regardless, until we bring the pieces to the throne and lay them at His feet, we cannot expect healing.

This reaching out for Jesus wasn’t just bold, it was also full of hope when things seemed hopeless.  “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” (Mark 5:26).  Doctor after doctor, remedy after remedy, year after year, medical bill after medical bill, all leaving her now destitute, hopeless, and still bleeding.

But then our compassionate Savior reassured and comforted her, not just fixing a physical problem, but speaking peace into her fearful heart: “Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you’” (Matthew 9:22).

There’s a message for you also in the broken places.  God asks you to “take heart, daughter.” Don’t despair.  Don’t give up hope.  Bring your burdens to Him.

What is it about her faith that healed her? She believed so much more than that He was a medicine man with some effective healing aura.

She believed He could give her new life.
She believed He could remove her impurity and make her clean again.
She believed He would not condemn her for approaching Him in all of her dirty unholiness.
She believed she could come to Him just as she was.
She believed He could bring hope to the hopeless.

Her faith made her well.

Then, she gave testimony to what He had done and announced to the crowd of onlookers that Christ had healed her.

Are you facing brokenness or losing hope? “Take heart, daughter,” and trust Him with the impossible.

And when He has delivered you, fall at His feet in worship and give testimony to His grace. Tell “the whole truth” about what God has done for you.

If you have not received the answer yet, pray for that testimony.  Pray for the glory of His name.

Pray that you will be like the captives brought back to Zion, “who were like men who dreamed.  Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.  Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy” (Psalm 126-13).

Lord, fill us with laughter, fill us with joy in these circumstances.  Allow us to declare, “The Lord has done great things for us.”  Give us a testimony for Your glory, so that we can be a walking display of Your healing, resurrecting power and Your deeply compassionate mercy and love.

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us” (Ephesians 3:20, MSG).

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King

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