Issues. We all have them. Some of us just hide it better than others. Relational issues, health issues, financial issues...all such issues can literally isolate us and make us feel all alone.
In today's reading, we are introduced to a woman. If anyone understood dealing with an issue which could isolate you, it was this woman. She is the woman with the "issue of blood."
She suffered with nonstop bleeding for twelve (long) years. She saw doctor after doctor. Mark tells us that she spent everything she had and rather than getting better, she actually got worse. (It reminds me of those commercials. You take a medication to treat one condition but you end up with side effects worse than the condition you started out with).
Even so, she didn't give up.
When she heard about Jesus, this anemic and exhausted woman was determined to make her way through the crowd and "touch His clothes."
Let's stop right there.
Do you remember what the Old Testament law says about people like her? People with bleeding issues?
She shouldn't be out in a crowd and she shouldn't be touching people. She is unclean. Contagiously unclean. Wherever she sat, whatever she touched, it too became unclean.
So, for this woman, braving the crowd was not only exhausting, if caught, it could have been humiliating. But she didn't care.
"For if I can just touch His robe, I will be healed."
And when she did, an exchange took place. She felt His robe, He felt her faith. Power left Him. Healing entered her.
"Daughter, your faith has healed you."
She was finally free.
The law told this woman to isolate herself, the voice of the enemy tells us the same. She didn't listen and I pray you won't either.
My prayer for all of us is that God would fill us with courage...courage to get past the crowd, past the shame, past the fear. I pray we will not relent nor be satisfied until we have done whatever it takes to enter into God's presence, touch His garment, and experience true freedom.