Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The hem of His garment

Mark 5:25-30: "And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 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. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His cloak, because she thought, 'If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.' Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering."

. . .
How desperate this woman must have been! Everything she tried to do made her condition worse. Every doctor she went to see only increased her pain and suffering. Her earthly resources were exhausted. There was nowhere left to turn. She was at the end of her rope.

A year ago, I was in a similar state of desperation. I knew the Lord had placed a calling on my life, but when I looked ahead, I saw nothing. I was in the vortex of a seemingly endless season of waiting.

No job offers. No plans. No direction. No future husband. No publishing contract. No clue. Just an overwhelming stretch of future that I couldn't see, control, fathom or predict.

In my life, these seasons have traditionally triggered anxiety. My traditional response? To dive inward, self-isolate, and panic. That's the key to health and happiness, right? (Hint: It's not.)

Self-isolation looks like this: cold and lonely. Don't do it.

So there I was...again. Sitting in church, head in my hands, tears falling down my face. Tormented by the thought of falling into another pit of anxiety. Completely desperate, begging Him to wrap His hands around my mind, to "fix me" once and for all. That's when the bleeding woman came to mind.

Like my biblical friend, I had exhausted every earthly resource available to me. I had been to counselors and talked for hours about the ins and outs of fear, anxiety, and worry. I had consulted friends. I had read books. I had asked for prayer. And still, I remained afflicted. Perpetually concerned. Unable to rest. Fearful of fear. 

What I hadn't done? Peeled myself away from introspection for long enough to simply stretch my hands out to Jesus.

Broken, I prayed from the deepest part of me: "If you would just let the hem of your garment pass over me, Lord, I know I will be made well."

And then a marvelous, beautiful, quiet thing happened.

Matthew 9:20-22: "Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, 'If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.' Jesus turned and saw her. 'Take heart, daughter,' He said, 'your faith has healed you.' And the woman was healed at that moment."

As it was with the bleeding woman, so it was with me: One brush of His garment upon my life infused me with His healing power. I felt a physical release as fears, doubts, uncertainties, agonizing thoughts and painful memories were flooded by the Truth of who I am in Him, and more importantly, the Truth of who He is and has always been.

Freedom looks like this: warm, wide-open spaces. Grab hold of it!

 So here's the question: Why didn't I come to Him sooner? 

1. I was looking at myself, not at Him

To spot Jesus in the midst of all the junk crowding our minds, we can't fix our eyes on anyone or anything but Him. I had to turn away from all distractions. Say goodbye to the practice of digging for answers within myself. Stop expecting Band-aids offered by other humans to heal the deep wounds of my mind and spirit.

2. My hands were filled with other things
To take hold of the hem of Jesus' garment, we can't be grasping anything else in our hands. I had to let go of self-concern. Forsake my pride. Lay down my fears about the future. Cease worrying that His provision would run out. Release the stranglehold I kept on my dreams, ambitions, and desire to please others.

3. I didn't trust His heart as Father

To be restored by the healing only He can bring, we can't approach God with human understanding. His power is not limited. He doesn't love selectively or impartially. Unlike a human father, our God is perfect in nature. In faith, I had to say He is my healer—not just the healer of other people "with bigger problems who probably need it more than me." In faith, I had to affirm that He's a Father who longs to give good gifts to His children—all His children. In faith, I had to find my worth in my status as His daughter—not in my own accomplishments. 

To this day, my healing continues. It's a process, and the enemy is always lurking around trying to tempt me to despair. When I'm "feeling good," I tend to let go of Jesus' robe and say, "Thanks for the medicine—I've got it from here." The result? I get fixated on the mirror again, close my fists around the things of this earth, and forget how deep, high, long and wide the Father's love is for me. But every time I return to my Savior, in His great mercy and love, He is faithful to bring me to a new level of deliverance.

Do you need to be restored today? Don't linger in your pain. Desperate for Him, say, "I know the smallest touch from you restores my life." Have you forgotten the new name He's given you? In faith, clutch the hem of His garment in both of your hands, and refuse to let go. Are you gaping at the future, grasping at identity, groveling for the approval of man? Lay down the things of this world, go to the Father without a backup plan, and hear Him immediately say, "Take heart...your faith has healed you."

And then, walking in wellness, help someone else find healing in His name—the only name by which we're saved. 

John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."


  1. Karley, thanks for sharing this wonderful testimony of the Lord's faithfulness and compassion on those who fear Him. Keep sharing girl, I pray that women would come across your blog and hear the Gospel through your words.

    1. Amen Selena! That's my prayer, too. I truly believe that when the Lord does a healing work in our lives, we're meant to share it so that others can find the same comfort we've been given (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says it better). He is faithful and compassionate indeed. Thank you, God!

  2. Well, Karley.....you are so gifted at "nailing" a deep, common need that we humans all need but, get sidetracked so easily. Turning our spiritual compass on Jesus each day helps the direction of those 24 hours, even when the terrain gets rough. I like your comment about releasing the "strangleholds"---love you, dear one!! Paige :)

    1. You are such an encouragement, always. I thank God for your wonderful friendship and for the example you are to all women seeking to live like Him!


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