Scripture: Luke 8:40-56
Key verse: (48) “He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
Reflection: Today’s scripture includes two wonderful healing stories. It begins with a father’s plea for his dying daughter. But, as Jesus moved through the large crowd that was pressing in on him, he stopped because he felt power go out of him. “Who touched me?” he asked. Remarkable, since there were so many people around him. But, a woman who had suffered with a hemorrhage for many years had crawled along the ground believing that if she could just touch the fringe of Jesus’ cloak she would be healed. What incredible faith! This woman had used all of her resources to find a cure. According to the Jewish laws of the time, she most likely had been abandoned by her family and relegated to a life of isolation, unable to participate in everyday life because of the bleeding. We don’t know this for sure, but the hemorrhage alone was debilitating. She desperately wanted to be healed. So, when she heard Jesus was nearby, she was determined to see him. There were no friends to bring her to Jesus – only her faith. She was immediately healed when she touched the hem of his garment. She hoped to slip away unnoticed, but others saw her and they called her out. So, she came through the crowd and fell at Jesus’ feet letting everyone know that she was healed. Jesus’ kind words to her are found above. At this point, bad news arrived — the young girl who was ill had died. Asking the father to hold on to his faith, Jesus proceeded to the house. The grieving had already begun and people were wailing in lament. But, Jesus went into the house with her parents, Peter and John took the child by her hand and she rose immediately. She was healed. We can only imagine the celebration in both of these families on that day.
Healing is a wonderful gift from God. Of course, we all know that not every story ends so happily. There are times in life when our prayers for healing aren’t answered the way we want. It is natural to wonder why God didn’t heal us or our loved one. It is perplexing and can lead many to question their faith. This is a natural thing to do when our lives don’t match these miracle stories. Yet, I have seen healing happen in many people’s lives without a physical cure. I have been privileged to be with people of deep faith as they died or struggled with chronic illness. I have witnessed healing. Our faith in Jesus Christ has healing power even when our mortal bodies fail. This is an incredible gift from God who has promised never to forsake us. In Hebrews 11 we are reminded that, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for the conviction of things not seen.” None of us know in what form the healing may come; but we are assured it will.
In her book: Everything Happens for a Reason (and other lies I’ve loved), the author Kate Bowler writes: “My little plans are crumbs scattered on the ground. This is all I have learned about living here, plodding along and finding God. My well-laid plans are no longer my foundation. I can only hope that my dreams, my actions, my hopes are leaving a trail . . . so whichever way the path turns, all they will find is Love.”
Prayer: Loving God, assure us of your compassion for each of us. Give us the faith we need to trust in you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].