Shame has great power over us. Sometimes we don’t realize it we’re dragging it around with us. We carry it around as we (silently) suffer with it daily. We call it out as we talk about it. We give it attention (and power) by thinking about it.
But until we realize it has a great hold on us, we’ll never be free.
The woman in Matthew 9 realized this. After 12 years of suffering with an issue of blood, she was desperate. She was at the end of her rope – physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, and medically. There was no human cure for her ailment, as she had visited every doctor she could afford. In fact, they had only made her suffering worse (“[she] had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse” (Mark 5:26)). There was no human care for her, since by law she was to be isolated and outcast. There was no human hope for her, for she had suffered so many years and had exhausted all known resources. And then she heard about Jesus, and there was a small spark of hope. Jesus, the man who had a reputation of entering a town and healing the most desperate and hopeless. Jesus, the man of miracles who sought out the untouchable and unlovable of society. Jesus, the man who could heal with words or touch. Jesus, her last source of hope.
So she goes against the law and goes out into public. She is so desperate she has to see Jesus. But she decides it isn’t enough to see Him. She determines that “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well” (Matthew 9:21, Mark 5:28). So not only has she been bold enough to enter into society’s stream of people, she is even bolder in touching Him. She was that desperate and that tired of carrying the shame of her disease. She had tried everything else, and maybe this man with miraculous healing power would be the answer she longed for. So she reached out, with great expectation, and touched Him.
And Jesus met her. Jesus knew her pain, her shame, and her suffering. And with great compassion, He met her right was she was and healed her. In that very moment. Mark 5:29 says “Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction”.
She felt it. In that moment she touched Him, she felt different. She felt acceptable. She felt healed.
And then there was the moment of panic when Jesus wants to know who she is. Will He be mad? Will He take away her miracle? Will He condemn her? She wasn’t sure, but she couldn’t keep quiet. In Mark 5:33, she comes forward: “But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth”. Because maybe the miracle wasn’t a fluke. Because maybe He was as generous and gracious as His reputation suggested. Because maybe she could finally be free.
And He responds as only a loving and compassionate Savior could. She was healed. Finally. Completely. With the assurance of a different life. For He tells her “’Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction’ And the woman was made well from that hour” (Matthew 9:22, Mark 5:34, Luke 8:48).
No more carrying her pain. No more being burdened by her shame. No more physical pain or suffering.
And Jesus wants to do the same for you. No more dragging around the pain of your past. No more being weighed down by the shame of your mistakes. No more being strangled by the lies of the enemy. Just Jesus. Just grace. Just forgiveness.
Healing completely for us emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Unconditional love that will fill all your empty places with His grace.
Grace flowing freely that will cover any and all bad experiences and choices.
Shame doesn’t have to be our partner, our friend, and our companion. Shame doesn’t have to be our master. Shame doesn’t have to be our source.
When you allow Jesus to be in your life, shame must flee. Pain must run. Guilt must leave. Sadness must go. Because Jesus is the Light that overcomes all the dark things that keep you down.
So run to Jesus and touch Him. The woman with the issue of blood did, and her life was radically changed. He will do the same for you. Are you ready?
Marie Fremin, 1/6/16