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.

Praying Out of the Box

Image by jscreationzs courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net
Image by jscreationzs courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. – Ephesians 3:20 NKJV

There’s a scene in the movie Apollo 13 in which a group of space engineers are presented with an impossible problem and challenged to come up with a solution. Three astronauts’ lives depended on it.

Random spacecraft parts, seemingly meaningless to their objective of bringing home a severely damaged spacecraft safely, were dumped on the table in front of them. “This is what you have to work with,” they were told.

And they did it. But they had to think out of the box. They had to think beyond the scope of the normal, of what they knew and had experienced.

The phrase, “out of the box,” originated with a British mathematician who developed a nine-dot puzzle. All nine dots, on a three-by-three grid, must be connected with four straight lines—without the pencil leaving the paper.

The only way to do this is to extend the lines beyond the perceived boundary of the dots on the grid. I say “perceived” because we tend to see, or perceive, the outer row of dots as a boundary and the dots all lined up neatly “in a box.”

Only when you think “out of the box” and draw the lines beyond the imaginary boundary can you solve the puzzle.

But we feel safe in our boxes, don’t we? They’re what we’re familiar with, what we understand and can deal with.

Our boxes, however, limit us in many ways.

Take prayer, for instance.

How often do we pray “safe” prayers—prayers we feel comfortable praying because we’re not asking the Almighty to do the impossible? We’re not risking our faith and our Christian reputation on miracles we doubt will happen.

Well, the impossible is the Almighty’s specialty—and miracles are His delight.

The problem, my friend, is on our part—the doubt. Even a little, sniggly, wiggly, invisible-to-the-eye doubt that convinces us “this can’t be done.”

Of course it can’t be done—in human terms and in human (translate: possible) ways. That’s why we ask God to do it.

But too often we ask with doubt. Read the Gospels. See what Jesus had to say about doubt.

And I’m not saying that if you don’t have enough faith, your prayers won’t be answered.

What I am saying is that we need to pray out of the box—for the impossible, for the miracle. In other words, ask God to do His thing.

When a man in my church was experiencing serious health issues, we prayed over him as a congregation and anointed him with oil (See James 5:14).

I was surprised a few weeks later when he reported that doctors couldn’t find what they’d thought was a growth in his colon. What had been seen during medical tests was no longer there. They had no explanation for it, except divine intervention.

Why was I surprised? Doesn’t God like to answer “exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think”?

YES!

“According to the power”—His power—the power of growing faith—“that works within us.”

Have an impossible situation? Go ahead—pray out of the box. And watch El Shaddai do the impossible.

Praying out of the box stretches my faith, O Lord. Like a little used muscle, my faith needs to be stretched and exercised. Remind me that nothing is impossible for You and that You delight in answering in ways that are out of the box. Amen.

 Extra tea: Read and meditate on Ephesians 3:14–21