If you asked me what is the one manifestation of faith in the Bible that stands out the most to me, without a doubt I would say the bleeding woman. (Mark 5:22) For months on end I have been tiring my friends about this woman. I mean, follow her story with me!
She leaves her house while she is bleeding, risking her life, because in her time, she is considered unclean and is meant to be sequestered in a room outside her own house. Deciding that twelve years was enough time to be sequestered, she walks for miles, in search of her only source of hope. And, tired, she finally gets to Him. Except, He is surrounded by a multitude, men and women who are much stronger than she is, and just as determined as she is to receive His blessing. On top of it all, He is on a mission, and His mission doesn't seem to include her. He is on His way to attend to the dying daughter of this desperate ruler named Jairus, who came out to seek His help.
I can just picture Him. He is in Spirit. He is focused. He is not paying attention to the crowd pressing against Him, and certainly not to the bleeding woman. His goal is to get to Jairus's daughter as soon as possible. But, she has other plans for Him! She has decided that she wants to be healed. And, her time is now. Jairus' daughter will have to wait a couple more minutes, because now is her chance. She decides to get closer to Him, intending to touch Him and finally be healed. It would seem that with each step she takes towards Him, she is signing her death sentence, because that is the only penalty fitting an unclean woman who touches a clean man. With determination and faith, she touches him. And...
She stops Him dead in His tracks!
And, this is where this woman stands out for me. She surprised Jesus. Not even He knew what had hit Him. After He felt the power flow out of Him, the power that SHE had drawn from Him, He stopped to enquire who it was that had touched Him. For a second, Jairus' daughter was forgotten, and the crowd faded into the background, and she took the centre stage. Jesus wanted to meet her. The disciples tried to convince Him to forget about it. Afterall, there was a large crowd around Him. Anyone of those people could have touched Him. But, He simply could not walk away without acknowledging her faith. He insisted that she come forward. And, trembling with fear because she knew what was at risk, she finally knelt down before His feet and confessed that she had touched Him. Daughter, He called her. 'Your faith has healed you.'
This simple, nameless woman wrote her own destiny, and earned herself the right to be called daughter of God. And, for some months now I have been admiring her courage tremendously. That was until last week. Because, while I was busy singing her praises with fervour and determination, as always, a certain Woman of God asked me a simple question. Where was the bleeding woman when Jesus was crucified?
Where was the bleeding woman, my heroine, when Mary and other courageous women were crying at the foot of Jesus' cross? They were not afraid to assume their faith in Him. Needless to say, that one question stopped me dead in my speech. So, dear friend, I am now looking at myself. What good is it to conquer beautiful miracles that inspire others, and yet deny my Lord Jesus when it counts the most? This is the question I have been pondering since that one silent, profound question was posed to me. What is the use of being known for the things I have supposedly conquered or achieved, but yet not have the courage to deny myself for the sake of my Lord? By denying myself I mean, daily laying to rest my own desires and wishes, in order to submit to the will of God, putting into action my supernatural faith, and conquering my salvation.
I must admit, I will forever draw a great lesson from this bleeding woman, but I am finally laying my hero-worship of her to rest. I would rather be known as the woman who had the courage to remain with Jesus until the end, than be known as someone who wrote her own destiny for a short while. Miracles last for a single lifetime, but salvation lasts for all eternity. Do the Maths!
Is it any wonder that she remains nameless - forever known as the bleeding woman?