Every good story has a turning point. It’s the place where whatever has gone wrong begins to be made right.
In The Chronicles of Narnia, we watch as Peter finally agrees to lead an army against the white witch. In Disney’s Frozen, we breath a sigh of relief when Elsa saves her sister Anna from remaining an icy statue forever.
In Mark chapter 5, we find the true story of a woman whose life is completely altered in a single moment, with a single touch.
She’d been bleeding for over a decade, yet suddenly her story had reached a turning point.
I’ve been praying for so long. Maybe you need a miracle too. What if our turning point is close enough to touch?
“A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding … She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe … Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.”–Mark 5:25, 27, 29
A woman in the crowd, she was just another face among the masses. Invisible, she felt alone in her pain. Even so, the nature of her need was such that it stood out in an uncomfortable way. She wasn’t fully able to join in with the hustle and bustle, and they’d never completely relate.
She had suffered for 12 years. The passage of time contributed to the woman’s sense of helplessness as much as the futility of human effort against a disease that just didn’t care. Doctors, money–nothing she’d tried had even come close.
There was constant bleeding. It was a physical and ever-present reminder of just how desperate the disease had made her situation.
She had heard about Jesus. Good things–amazing things, really. He’d opened blind eyes and made the lame to walk. Jesus was undeniably able to heal, and He seemed willing to help even those who struggled the most.
So she came. Forward movement–propelled by hope. At first unsure, every step increased her confidence as she told herself, “If I can just touch His clothes, I’ll be healed.” She believed the words more each time they cycled through her mind.
Every step brought her closer to Jesus, and as she drew near she could see the compassion in His eyes. She didn’t doubt the rumors that He healed everyone who came to Him. The power eminating from Jesus was more palpable than her awareness of the bleeding.
All at once, she was right behind Him, and she knew without a doubt that if she touched Him, she would be made whole. Somewhere back there, fear had fallen away.
She vaguely remembered pressing through the crowd of people that had separated her from Jesus. They’d been jostled aside, along with her unbelief. All she could see was The Miracle Worker. Not reaching out to Him seemed crazy now–more absurd than pressing through the crowd had felt just moments ago.
She touched his robe. Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
The woman knew she was healed and also that she was more unclean than the bleeding ever could’ve made her. Here stood the only One who could wash away the bitterness and resentment brought by years of hopelessness. She fell to her knees.
Hidden in the stories of Narnia and Frozen, we find a truer turning point than Peter’s courage and Elsa’s love. If not for Azlan’s sacrifice, Peter could never have been so brave. Elsa did rescue her sister from an icy fate, but it was Anna who first set out to find and redeem the wayward queen.
So often, we mistakenly shoulder the burden of turning our own stories around, but Jesus has already accomplished all that is needed. He is the true Turning Point in every story that ends well.
I am the woman. Are you? I have been worn out by passing time, crippled with fear by worsening symptoms, and paralyzed by doubt.
How can we press through the crowd of unbelief?
Andrew Wommack says, “Faith doesn’t move God. He isn’t the one who is stuck.”
But faith moves us to recognize and receive what God has already done. We don’t need to convince Him to act by what we say or do. He has already acted! When we declare the promises of God and take steps to obey His Word, we are not attempting a formula for answered prayer. We’re speaking the Word of God to our own hearts so that faith will come and propell us to a place of trust and confidence in Him.
Faith is a by-product of focusing on Jesus.
The woman who had bled for 12 years heard about Jesus. As she began to see Him for who He really was, she told herself, “If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.”
And she was.
Grace had opened her eyes to Jesus in all of His glory, and faith assured her that He was the tangible answer to her need.
Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.” This from the One who never asked for perfect faith but gives to each of us a measure of faith, declaring that even faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.
I don’t need to muster up more faith, I just need to look on the wonder of Jesus Christ. “The things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
Faith is confidence in Jesus–something that is not hard to come by if we’d only look at Him for long enough. It’s as simple as finding true North via the stars and as certain as the sun rising again tomorrow.
When our eyes are opened to all that Jesus really is and our hearts are hit with the full impact of what He accomplished on the cross, faith comes easily.
Instead of looking forward to what we wish God might do, we look back at the cross and realize that we have always been standing under the fountain of miracles that Jesus opened up 2,000 years ago.
Doubt is washed away, and we find the confidence in Jesus to reach out and touch Him–to grasp what was freely offered all along.
Jesus is here. Right now. Look at Him. Reach out and touch.
Photo Credit: The beautiful rendering of the woman with the issue of blood is by Amanda Macias. More of her work can be viewed here.