We want a miracle but God wants a meeting

Mark 5:25-34

Sufferers of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, dysautonomia and many other chronic illnesses will no doubt readily identify with the woman in Mark’s gospel who was sick for twelve years.  She is said to have ‘endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all but rather grew worse.’  Furthermore, if those suffering from such illnesses believe in God, they will most probably have turned to him many times asking that he would heal them and give them relief from their sufferings.  They would no doubt love to be able to do as this woman did, simply reaching out and touching Jesus’ cloak, and finding that in that moment twelve long years of pain and humiliation were over.   She found a physician that cost nothing and healed her entirely.

What is particularly  interesting however about this story is that Jesus does not allow her to come to him for healing alone.  As D.A. Carson puts it, ‘she wants a miracle but Jesus wants a meeting.’  When she reaches out in the crowd to touch him, Jesus turns around immediately saying, ‘Who touched me?’  No doubt he knew who had touched him but he asked the question because he desired that this woman would not only know his power but also his love.  He wanted her not simply to know healing but to know him.  And so they meet face to face and I wonder as the years passed, what she came to value most – being free of her illness or meeting her Lord face to face and receiving his blessing.

When I first became unwell two years ago I begged God to heal me.  There was little I wanted from him more than this.  Of course, I would still like to be healed and God in his mercy may yet grant this but  I am slowly learning that God wants something much more wonderful than my healing – he wants me.  We may want a miracle but God wants a meeting.  He wants us to know him and love him and trust him.  Any healing from chronic illness will only ever be temporary in this life, but to know Christ, to meet with him, is eternal life.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Lovely post Keith! Blessings,

    Eden

    Reply

  2. Lovely post. If I may add my thoughts – I’ve had severe CFS for 20 years and only recently realized that I never directly asked to be healed. What I’ve asked for, and unfailingly received, is strength. Sometimes, as you indicate, we’re not asking the right question.

    I’ve prayed countless times for strength…and before I finish the thought…the strength that does not come from me is given.

    Thank you for this thoughtful post.

    Reply

    • Posted by Keith on April 13, 2010 at 7:40 am

      You’re very welcome. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been so unwell for so long but thank you so much for stopping by and for testifying to the Lord’s strengthening through it all. That’s encouraging to me because when I hear that I think: ‘if this person can persevere for twenty years, looking to the Lord, then by God’s grace, I can persevere also.’ May you continue to know more and more of his strength and peace. 🙂

      Reply

  3. I’m so thankful for the people in my life who taught me even as a child, to reach my hand out to God. He responded – and still responds – breathtakingly fast to our least effort to connect ourselves to Him more fully.

    As we’ve learned from Jesus, it is not for us to refuse the cross, just to ask for what we need to carry it – I need Him. (I do not mean to imply that we should not ask for healing – just that sometimes the answer is that this is where we need to be right now.) God does not ask us to do what He has not done Himself through Jesus – that comforts me a great deal.

    Thank you for providing a place where I could share some of my thoughts more fully and for allowing me and others to appreciate your journey as well. You have done me a great service today. 🙂

    Reply

  4. Posted by Keith on April 13, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I agree wholeheartedly! Thank you for sharing even more fully and specifically how Jesus has helped you. You have also done me a great service today. How good is christian fellowship!

    Reply

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