June 27, 2014 - Are You Desperate Enough?
By Patty Kennedy
"A woman was in the crowd who had been bleeding for twelve years, but no one was able to heal her. She came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his coat, and instantly her bleeding stopped. Then Jesus said, 'Who touched me?' When all the people said they had not touched him, Peter said, 'Master, the people are all around you and are pushing against you.'
"But Jesus said, 'Someone did touch me, because I felt power go out from me.' When the woman saw she could not hide, she came forward, shaking, and fell down before Jesus. While all the people listened, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Jesus said to her, 'Dear woman, you are made well because you believed. Go in peace'" (Luke 8:43-48, NCV).
Think of how desperate this woman must have been. Twelve years of bleeding. Some translations say she had spent all her money on physicians who were unable to help. Obviously the woman had heard of Jesus and what He could do, or she would not have overcome a massive crowd to touch the hem of His garment.
Imagine people staring as the woman navigated the sea of people, probably pushing here and there as she struggled to get through. Mosaic law dictated that she was unclean because of her condition. The woman was an outcast in her society, and yet that did not hinder her from doing what she had to do.
How desperate do you have to be before you strain to reach Jesus? A dear friend of mine found his turning point when he finally realized he would die if he did not change. He was enslaved to meth, cocaine and alcohol. He practically crawled on his belly and touched Jesus, and his life has never been the same. His ministry now helps many others find the freedom he has discovered.
Another friend, who has been miserable for years because she hasn't come to terms with her horrific childhood, recently confessed she is broken and desperate for Jesus. She courageously admitted to being "fake on a daily basis." This friend has reached her breaking point and knows she cannot be whole without Jesus -- and without the help of her sisters in Christ.
Some of us know at an early age we are a mess and need Jesus. Others of us spend years wandering in the wilderness as the Israelites did, wondering why things aren't working out like we thought they would. We feel lost in a crowd, and haven't yet seen the Master in the distance who bids us come.
The woman with the issue of blood had a desperate physical need. Our spiritual need is even greater, though, until we realize we are wretched and poor and blind and naked, and we need a Savior. Will we hesitate, fearing what others will think if we push through the crowd to touch the Master? Or will our eyes be so focused on Jesus that we don’t care who sees us?
The decision to follow Jesus is the most important one we will ever make. It doesn't have to be rehearsed or eloquent or pretty. Jesus only requires that we come, and that we give ourselves completely to Him.
— Patty Kennedy describes her life as "a powerful illustration of God's matchless grace and redemption." She lives in Springfield, Mo., where her husband, John, serves as news editor for the Pentecostal Evangel.
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