“She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.” – Mark 5:26 (NIV)
The story in Mark 5 of “The Dead Girl and a Sick Woman” is one of my favorites in the Gospels. The sick woman here is described as someone “who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years” (Mark 5:25) and apparently had exhausted her money and probably her energy in attempts to be cured of her disease. I can imagine her trudging to her mirror, day after day, and looking at her reflection and wondering when relief for her disease and her suffering would ever come. We’re not told specifically if she had advance notice that Jesus would be coming through her area. But if she was in fact told He was coming, I can also imagine her looking in that mirror in the morning of the day she was to be healed, and maybe, finally, seeing a hint of a smile to go along with her tears. What great faith she had, to think only that “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” (Mark 5:28). Her faith of course was rewarded with physical healing, and with a wonderful pronouncement from Jesus Himself – “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Many of us search for a cure for what is ailing us, and many (like myself) spend years looking for it in the wrong places. I used to read many self-help books and motivational CDs and tapes, with titles like “Live Your Dreams” and “Awaken The Giant Within” – all in an effort to help my own self-esteem and worth. There are folks who exhort us to just “Believe in yourself !” and all will be well.
For argument’s sake, let’s go down that path for a moment. Take that motto “believe in yourself” and size it up with what the Bible tells us:
- “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV)
- “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” – Genesis 6:5 (ESV)
- “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” – Romans 3:12 (ESV)
- “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.” – Mark 7:21-22 (ESV)
That’s quite a list. So to “believe in ourselves” means we must affirm what the Bible says in the above verses and in many other places. How does that look ? Does it seem like a “cure” for what ails us can be found from within ? As Albert Mohler once said, “Most believe that what their problem is, is something that has happened to them – and their solution is going to be found within. In other words, they believe they have an alien problem that is to be resolved with an inner solution….when the Gospel says that what we have is an inner problem, and the only solution is an alien righteousness.”
Friends, the answer, the cure to what ails us is not inside of us. After we have gone through “the care of many doctors” and gurus and self-help coaches, there is only one place to turn – to the Great Physician Himself, Jesus Christ. If we go to Him, and fully acknowledge by faith that our cure can only be found in His shed blood at the Cross of Calvary, we too can experience the healing of the sick woman in Mark 5. His cure though is for our ultimate disease, the sickness of sin.
“I reached out
I just reached out
for the hem of His garment
and everything changed.”
– Bethany Dillon