Pushing Our Obstacles Aside
Obstacles sometimes seem insurmountable in our life. We can look to the left, the right, back and forth. Yet no matter which direction we focus our eyes; we are unable to see our next step. Our back is up against a wall and a tall barbed wire fence with razor barbs is directly in front. We are completely boxed in with no way out.
Maybe, it’s a dead end job with terrible working conditions, but because of family commitments, there is no alternative but to remain. Some are in abusive families with no end in sight, fearful to stay, fearful to leave. Others might be enduring a critical time with a child that seems bent on the road to destruction. On the other hand, it might be a physical problem with no answers within the medical profession. Where we have no answers, we can and must completely rely on the Lord for strength, and wisdom.
In Matthew 5:25-34 is a beautiful story that reveals a heart that is desperate for change. Not just any change but a life-altering encounter that would affect every area of her life.
These few verses tell of a woman isolated from society by a medical condition that she had no obvious control over. The Scriptures never makes known her name, but many have heard of the story of the woman with an issue of blood.
Imagine living in a timeframe when your very disease causes you to become an outcast according to the religious laws of your day. Every thing this woman sat on or touched became unclean. No one could have any contact with her beyond a glance or a spoken word. For years, she had lived without the comforting touch of another human. All her money spent on physicians who failed to help. This is a life spent in lonely isolation. Then she heard of Jesus. Reports of His healing power had spread everywhere. Maybe, just maybe she could get some help, if the stories are true.
As the woman with an incurable disease stands on the fringes of the crowd, she is at the end of her rope. By Jewish Law, she must stay away. Yet because of the things she has heard, she knows this is her one chance for healing and a normal life. In her desperation, she presses forward with no thought of the others in the crowd. She has one thought to get to Jesus and touch the hem of His garment.
It’s as if the people she pushes past represent the obstacles in her way. She edges past financial ruin. She pushes loneliness aside. Shoving despair to the left and hopelessness to the right, she presses onward. Still intent in her mission, she barrels past others in the crowd. Physical exhaustion, her constant companion for years, is calling her back. She gives no place to his demand; she is intent on completing this journey through the crowd. Every person she passes is an obstacle pushed aside. Finally, she reaches her goal and is directly behind the Lord. She has one last obstacle to overcome; the faith to actually reach out and touch Him. Acknowledging deep within her desperation for healing she begins stretching out her hand. ‘He will never know; I won’t touch Him. I just need to touch the hem of His garment.’
Fully aware of the Law, she does not physically want to touch Jesus and inflict her uncleanness on Him. Just touching the hem of His garment will be enough. With one thrust of her hand, she carefully reaches out and feels the slightest touch of the hem of His garment. Suddenly, miraculous healing power courses through her body. Instantly she is cured. Yet, she still holds it deep inside; no one knows what she has done.
Suddenly, He stops and turns around. He felt the healing virtue leave him. Someone has touched Him with the faith necessary to restore health to their body. As He glances around the crowd, He knows who the guilty party is. There is no question in His heart that the woman with the cloak pulled tight around her is the one.
“Who has touched Me?” With great fear, she shares the whole story of her disease, her lonely and painful life. He hears torment in her voice and sees despair on her face.
However, he also hears the voice of hope – “I have felt the difference in my body.” His response “Your faith has made you whole. Your prayers are answered”
Today, many of us have insurmountable obstacles. We are boxed on all sides with no hope in sight. Yet, there is a way out. It is through a touch from the Master. Are we willing to act in faith like the woman with the issue of blood? Are we willing to push past aside all obstacles for the touch we need from the Lord? Will we determine in our heart to press forward at any cost? No matter what any body else is doing or saying, are we going to pursue all the Lord has for us? May the cry of our heart be content with nothing less than a touch of the Lord.