“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” –Mark 15:34
A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition. (Mark 5:25–29 NLT)
The law as laid out in Leviticus states that this woman would be ceremoniously unclean until the bleeding stops, which means she could not touch anyone or anything without also making them unclean; because anyone who is unclean cannot enter the temple, this woman had effectively been separated from her community for twelve years. Even if her blood loss was minor, human beings are not made to bleed incessantly for years on end, so she was likely in a constantly weakened state. On top of that, she had spent every denarius on a cure that never came. Isolated, weakened, and poor, she still had faith that God would heal her through Jesus, even if the closest she could get to Him was the hem of His robe.
Jesus knew the toll this illness had taken on her over the course of those twelve years, so when He sensed that she had been healed, He called on her to step forward so that He could, in part, invite her back into community. “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over” (v. 34). God does not abandon us. He wants us to be whole and part of His family, but reconciliation and healing—be it physical, spiritual, emotional, or mental—may not happen when we want it to. God’s timetable is all His own. If you are someone in need of restoration of some kind, don’t lose faith that Jesus will make His power known through you. If you know someone who is in the midst of a period of suffering, find some tangible way to stand with them.