Mark 5:27-28 She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well."
Last week we spoke of the importance of beginning everything, especially each day in Christ. There is a short prayer, for the beginning of the day which goes: Thank you Lord for this new day, show me what you would have be do with it - which helps us to focus on letting God guide our lives and our days. This week we continue the same theme of beginning everything in Christ, with a focus on Christian health and healing.
While many Christians have no trouble turning to God in the area of guilt, forgiveness and eternal life - there is often a disconnect when it comes to matters of health and science. What I mean is although we know we should turn to God, often it is only after we have turned to doctors and scientists - this often leads to disaster.
God gave us a wonderful gift in marriage, not only did God give children, but he gave us pleasure in creating them. Sinful man wanted the pleasure without the responsibility of marriage or children. And so because God did not come first there was birth control, which gave us the opportunity to take the pleasure without responsibility - and this led to abortion, the murder of God given children. This is neither healthy, nor is it part of God's plan. Sex outside of marriage is wrong, the scripture clearly teaches this. And yet we have an enormous industry built on the belief we have a right to our pleasure on our terms. Its not right and its not healthy and its not God's plan for our lives. We wouldn't have the problems we face today, stem cells, cloning, and euthanasia, if we had been placing God and his will first. But God doesn't come first, much of the time, what's important, and what comes first is either or pleasure, or money, or a combination of the two. That's the diagnosis, or to put it in another way - that's the way the sin looks.
So what do you do when you see sin? Hopefully you see the need for a savior, and also the need to repent - only Jesus can take our sins away. That's why we turn to him. We examine ourselves, we see our sin, we confess our sin, and we trust in the good news that the blood of Jesus washes all our sins away - and not only wash them away but make us a new creation - we are born again, that we might be born children of God.
There is much healing when God comes first in our lives, and when God's will is what our will is set on.
Suffering and sickness are the result of sin in the world, sometimes our sin, sometimes just the sinful world we live in.
When we pray for healing, we are asking not for a cure, but that God's will might be done in our lives. Sometimes this means things won't get better - St Paul prayed that his thorn in the flesh might be removed, God's answer is important - my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
When we can't rely on our own strength, sometimes its easier to rely on God. But what's more, when we rely on God, people have the opportunity to see faith at work in our lives.
Returning to the text, it is important for us to remember that God loves us, and wants the best for us, and that we turn to him always, and that he comes first. In faith we can say to ourselves, if I could just touch the hem of Jesus garment, I will be healed - and to know that this might mean a cure, or it might mean the grace to deal with pain and suffering, while looking forward to our new life in heaven.