Friday, September 17, 2010

Hope and Healing

This morning I could not get away from the story recorded in Mark 5:24, where Jesus, walking ahead of a throng of people, experienced the touch of a woman, who had had an issue of blood that had plagued her for twelve years. She had said within herself, “If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.” (verse 29) Immediately the issue of blood dried up, and she was healed.

But Jesus wanted to know who had touched his clothes. The disciples ridiculed him because of the crowd that was around him. She, however, was so afraid that she trembled as she acknowledged what had happened. Jesus then told her that it was her faith that had made her well.

It is obvious that she had turned the right direction with her problem, as Proverbs 23:17 says, "Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off."

Victor Frankl said, “A single moment can retroactively flood an entire life with meaning.”

There is a tug-of-war in the human heart! Anyone who has been on a diet, or has decided to start a new exercise program, or tried to get out of debt, knows this! It is even more pronounced when one seems short of the “Love Provision” necessary to life.

As Esther Kerr Rusthoi wrote,

Oft times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear,
We're tempted to complain, to murmur and despair;
But Christ will soon appear to catch His Bride away,
All tears forever over in God's eternal day.
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

Sometimes the sky looks dark with not a ray of light,
We're tossed and driven on , no human help in sight;
But there is one in heav'n who knows our deepest care,
Let Jesus solve your problem - just go to Him in pray'r.

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life's trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrows will erase,
So bravely run the race, till we see Christ.

Our verse in Proverbs 23:17 says, “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”

Envy is different than jealousy, in that it refers to a superior achievement, possession, position, or privilege that could be ours. If it is not possible to have it, human tendency is to wish that the other lacked it. Quite often envy lurks when someone says, “It is not fair . . .”

James speaks of envy in a different light, however. In fact many translators avoid the word “envy”, and use terms such as “Jealously Yearn”. God, through the Holy Spirit yearns enviously that we embody our true privilege as “cross-bought” people! What is that privilege? It is that our souls might be well.

The woman’s body was a portrait of the death struggle that waged in her soul!
Both the King James Version and the NET Bible retain the word, “envy”.

James 4:5 Or do you think the scripture means nothing when it says, “The spirit that God caused to live within us has an envious yearning”?

What is the hidden truth here? I think it relates to the hope expressed at the last of this proverb, “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”

The woman, like all Jews, probably understood that the fringe of Jesus’ garment, something like a prayer shawl, included four special tassels, related to the whole law. (They were named, “tzit tzit”; “fringes”; and were also known as arba kanfot, “four corners”, Numbers 15:38-40)

When she “broke protocol”, so to speak, and touched the “tsit-tsit” of Jesus’ garment, with faith in its intended meaning, she was healed in soul and body!

Intrinsically she knew that Jesus embodied the whole law, so she touched that particular fringe or tassel that expressed that, for her own special healing!

She went right to the root of the matter. The lawyers had broadened this aspect of religious life, without expressing its true, intended meaning. (Matthew 23:5); (Luke 11:52).

When our system no longer brings soul-healing to people like this, it is in danger of being done away with. That is where you and I come in. We are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves in this battle.

Psalm 103:1-3 indicates that God’s goal is always soul healing. John’s prayer is that it would also include bodily healing. (3 John 1:2) Thus, the woman who touched Jesus’ garment represents the soul-healing potential of every Christian.

Our task as the people of God, is to embody the spirit of the woman. She had a “cross to bear”. It was simply that she might embrace the true meaning of the Cross of Christ as her own, and glory in that! All else would flow from that.

And, yes, often that will cost us as well.

1 comment:

ellaizasantiago said...

A bible reader?
Anyways, i love some of the scriptures. Actually, i encounter some of these as they were the theme verse in some retreats i attended like "sacred journeys Hawaii".

Also, Thanks for sharing those great wisdom of yours. :)