Sometimes a phrase just leaps out of the Bible at me. This familiar passage has taken on new emphasis these past months:
And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. Luke 8:43
Twelve years – that’s a long time.
Because of the access I’ve been given to medical insurance wherever I have worked, we aren’t bankrupt. That is a huge grace from God.
And we’ve also still spent a great deal of money on physicians. We still don’t know what is causing Paul’s ‘episodes.’ I think I understand a little of that’s woman’s desperation.
A simple touch of Jesus’ garment was all that God used to heal her – no words from Jesus, no touch, no mud.
Unfortunately, ‘faith healers’ have abused this passage where Jesus concludes by saying, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” They point to this and accuse those who continue to live with disability of not having enough faith to be healed.
That’s just wrong. Romans 12:3-8 highlight how wrong it is:
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,  with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
We have not earned our faith – we have been given it! We have different gifts according to the grace given to us! We are to use our gifts for the sake of the body!
And what do you do with Paul, who was used by God to actually heal people? He prayed about his thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:1-10) and it was not removed. Rather, he concluded:
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Jesus knows what we need! Jesus is our strength! If he heals, it is to bring greater glory to God. If he doesn’t heal, he uses it to draw us more closely to him. Both are good things.
I love this old hymn that reminds me – my hope is built on him, not on me:
My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.