The Hem of His Garment

“The Hem of His Garment,” © 2004 by MessianicArt.com

If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well. Mark 5:28 (NKJV)

For 12 long years she suffered. She tried every recourse available, but to no avail. “She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet of instead of getting better, she grew worse” (Mark 5:26).

I wonder—Was she beyond desperation, past the point of caring? Had she surrendered to her illness, counting the days until it would finally siphon her last ounce of energy, her last breath? Only then would she have relief.

But then she heard something that stirred up a hope she thought long dead: Jesus of Nazareth was passing through—the man whose reputation as a miracle worker was spreading through the country like a wildfire through the withered wasteland: how He’d healed the leper and the man with the withered hand, how he’d driven thousands of demons from the crazy man that lived in Gadarene tombs. Why, word had it that He even calmed a storm at sea with only a few words! Surely He could help her.

She knew she wasn’t allowed in public in her condition, but maybe, just maybe . . . She wrapped her mantle around her face and stepped out the door.

When she saw the crowds swarming around Him, she despaired. She didn’t have a chance. But something in her emboldened her to push through the throng. She was almost to Him when she heard Jairus’s voice: “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so she will be healed and live.”

She knew the little girl—she was only 12. And here she was, way past her prime. Better to let Him go to the girl and not take the time to bother with an old woman. Besides, Jairus was one of the higher ups in the local synagogue, and who was she? A nobody. She turned to leave, but the swarming crowd pushed her closer to Jesus—close enough to touch Him. Hope flared.

“If just touch His clothes . . .”

She reached out. Her fingertips brushed the hem of His garment. Suddenly she felt whole. Healthy. Strong. Healed.

Jesus stopped abruptly and looked around. “Who touched Me?”

In the midst of a jostling crowd, He knew. Terror seized her. Would He be angry? Would her illness return?

Trembling, she fell at His feet and confessed. Love, not condemnation, poured from His eyes.

“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Later she heard that He’d brought Jairus’s daughter back from the dead.

Sometimes I wish that Jesus still walked this earth so I, too, can reach out and touch the hem of His garment.

And then I remember—He does: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20)—and I can: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.   (Ps. 5:3). Amen.

Feeling God doesn’t care about you? Read Psalm 139.

Read and reflect on Mark 5:25-34.

(c) 2011 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

The Well, the Ram, and Jehovah Jireh

“Hagar in the Wilderness”
Artist: Camille Corot (French, Paris 1796–1875 Paris) | Date: 1835

And then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. – Genesis 21:19 (NIV)

Abraham looked up and . . . saw a ram. – Genesis 22:13

I’ve always felt that Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian maidservant, got a raw deal. Her job was to serve her mistress. This she did. And what did it get her? Not five gold stars for obedience, that’s for sure.

We first meet her in the pages of ancient Scripture when barren Sarah decides the only way she’ll have children is to order her maidservant to sleep with her husband. Any child conceived as a result would then be considered Sarah’s. Legally.

So Hagar sleeps with the big man and conceives. Sarah’s abuse of the pregnant maidservant is so harsh that Hagar runs away. But God meets her in the wilderness, gives her a blessing, and sends her back. Fast forward about 15 years to the weaning celebration of Abraham and Sarah’s miracle baby, Isaac. Sarah spots half-brother Ishmael taunting the little guy and runs to Abraham. “Get rid of that slave woman and her son!” she orders him.

The next morning, Abraham gives Hagar some food and water and sends her off into the wilderness.

When the water was gone, she put Ishmael under a bush and went off a short distance, where she sat sobbing, “I cannot watch him die.”

Once again God meets her in the wilderness. I love how the writer of Genesis describes what happens next: “God heard the boy crying” (Genesis 21:17) and “God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water” (v. 19).

They do not die in the wilderness. Ishmael becomes “a great nation,” as God promised his mother.

Fast forward again, this time to Abraham and Isaac on a mountain on the land of Moriah, where God has sent Abraham on a mission: “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, and . . . sacrifice him there as a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:2).

They were almost there when Isaac asks, “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

I used to wonder if Abraham’s answer, “God himself will provide the lamb,” was a cop-out. I mean, would he really tell Isaac he was the offering? And I used to think Abraham lied when he told the servants to wait at the bottom of the mountain: “I and the boy will go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5, emphasis mine).

Image by rjmcsorley on Pixabay

Then on the mountain, just after God has stayed his hand from plunging the sacrificial knife into Isaac’s heart, “Abraham looked up and . . . saw a ram,” which he sacrificed in place of Isaac.

Did the ram just happen to be there? Or had it been there all along, making its way up the mountain and getting itself stuck in the thicket just as Abraham looked up?

Did the well that provided life-giving water to Hagar and Ishmael just happen to be there? Some commentators say it was there all along, but Hagar, in her physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual condition, just didn’t see it. Some say it was well hidden.

The answer to these questions is the name that Abraham gives to the mountain: “The-LORD-Will-Provide”(YHWH Yireh or Jehovah Jireh).

The Hebrew word used for “provide” also means “to see.”

God is still Jehovah Jireh today.

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me of the value of every person on this planet. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son . . .” (John 3:16). Amen.

Read and reflect on Genesis 21:14–21; 22:1–19

From God, Me & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor with your time with God  © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.