Secret Struggles

Mark 5:25-29
And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.  For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.  And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

For this woman, it was a long battle, and in many ways it was a private struggle.  Maybe others couldn’t tell that she was unwell.  Maybe the shame of her condition caused her to keep her distance.  Maybe she felt compelled to hide.  Maybe this long struggle left her drained and she just couldn’t live a normal life and people didn’t understand what she was going through.

But Jesus knew.  He knew the depth of her struggle, the span of her illness, the effects that it had on her.  He knew the hopelessness she felt and the desperation.  He knew all she had tried before that had failed to make a difference.  He knew her thoughts, her heart, and her faith that day when she reached out to Him and was made whole.  And even if the change in her was internal and invisible to others, that doesn’t make it any less real or any less significant.  It certainly wasn’t as dramatic as casting demons into a herd of swine, but it still made such a difference for this woman to be healed of her plague.

Sometimes in our lives, we may face a secret struggle, something few people, if any, know about.  Sometimes it’s something chronic that we endure year after year that consumes our lives even as we suffer in silence.  But that doesn’t make the pain any less real, and we can be assured that even if no one else can ever grasp just what we are going through, Jesus knows all about it.  He has not dismissed us or forgotten us or left us to face it alone.  He cares about those private and personal things we may feel we have to deal with on our own.

Sometimes the difference that Jesus makes in our lives isn’t as obvious or noticeable, but it still has a profound impact on us.  Those are still opportunities to be left in awe of the graciousness and the power of Jesus.  We may not be as comfortable bringing those things into the light and talking about them, but Jesus compelled this woman to come forth from the crowd and tell her story, too.  So may this woman’s story encourage us in our own struggles that we do not suffer alone, and like her, we can find wholeness in Christ.