I’ve had a hard few days. Earlier this week I found out my dad had collapsed due to (probably) heart complications, and it was the second time in two months. Thankfully he’s OK and in good hands, and cardiologists and neurologists are doing what they can to work out why it happened. But it was a shock for all my family.
When something happens to one of your parents, it’s de-stabilising. Even as an adult son or daughter, there’s a part of you that still relies on them to be strong and healthy. Just to be OK, for you. It’s unsettling too when we realise how precarious our lives are. There are no guarantees.
I’m so thankful that God is my everlasting, heavenly Father, and he will always be there for me.
This week I was drawn to one of my favourite passages from the Bible. I love it when I come across a story that reveals, often through subtle details, just how amazing Jesus was while here on earth.
Luke 8:40-48 describes the story of two people who were desperate to see Jesus – a synagogue leader named Jairus, and a woman who had been haemorrhaging for many years…
40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,[a] but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
The crowd was expectant for Jesus, as the passage says. I can imagine everyone clamouring and jostling for a glimpse of him – a chance to touch him, be healed by him. They’d heard great things about his miracles and they were desperate for something from him that would change their lives.
Jairus was the first to intercept him, pleading with him to come and see his daughter, who was dying. On the way however, Jesus is interrupted. By a woman, who because of her illness, had been made a social outcast. Remember that at this stage the crowd was almost crushing Jesus – so it would’ve taken a lot of determination to get to the point where she could touch his cloak. But she did, and in that simple act – of touching the hem of his garment – she was healed. Of course Jesus didn’t really have to ask who touched him – he knew everything. But despite Peter’s protestations, he makes a point of asking. He draws attention to her, and she can’t hide the miracle any more. I love the image of her trembling and falling at his feet. Overwhelmed before this beautiful source of power, love and strength that everyone has been desperate for a glimpse of. Jesus turns to her with such a beautiful affirmation of her faith. She has been waiting 12 years for this. Suffering, lonely, and desperate for her circumstances to change… And in one faithful touch of her Lord’s cloak, they do.
I am so thankful for Jesus, my God who searches for all his lost and struggling children. And through nothing we have done – through simple faith – he chooses to do miraculous things.
The miracle we might seek might not be the one God gives. But the greatest miracle of all, and the one we truly need, is Jesus himself. The Jesus that died for me, who rose from death to prove he is God, and who offers eternal, everlasting life after death. To all who turn from their old ways, and simply have faith. Holding nothing back – entrusting everything.
As I trust him with my life, I entrust my dad to him too. I don’t know what the future holds for him. But I do know he loves God deeply, and is secure in His loving arms.
I was worshipping God the other day, my tears soaking my face. In that moment I was met with a beautiful thought that I believe was from God.
“Remember the woman who clamoured to touch my cloak?” I heard.
“Well guess what… You don’t need to do anything just to touch my hem. Right now, I’ll hide you in the folds of my cloak and never let go.”