Got issues? I hope you won’t leave me hanging. I need to know that you are with me, that you realize that we’ve all got issues. Our issues might not be the same, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that we still have them.
Today I want to look at the story of a woman from Mark 5:25-34 who had an issue of blood for twelve years. (Mark 5:25) Mark 5:26 goes on to tell us that she had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.
Her story reminds us that we all have issues that we need and long to be free from. So often we try to push our issues down or aside rather than face them or deal with them, but we can’t experience freedom unless we face and deal with our issues. Facing our issues usually means we get real with God and ourselves.
The Problem With Not Facing And Dealing With Our Issues:
When we have one unresolved issue it will lead to a whole host of others. You see, her issue began with the one problem, a flowing issue, an ongoing menstrual cycle.
But that problem led to an identity problem. She lived in a world that identified her as unclean and according to Jewish law, unclean also meant she was UNTOUCHABLE. I don’t know if there is any more harmful identity than, Unclean because it affects so many other areas of our life.
Her on-going unclean identity excluded her from normal social life, ultimately making her an outcast. In extreme cases in her day, some people believed that even the breath and gaze of the unclean was considered detrimental.
I remember one day listening to a news conference about the Coronavirus, or Covid-19, and the medical professionals said that they thought that a person infected with the virus could possibly infect another person by their breath. Reports like that make us fearful of even looking someone else’s way. Try to think about this woman’s story from the perspective of our recent pandemic and health crisis.
Social distance. Avoid contact. Stay home. Stay Away.
However, Her Story Still Differs From Ours!
The difference in our situation and hers can be explained in another commonly used statement during our crisis, “We are all in this together.” That’s where our story differs. She was alone. Her issue was hers to carry all by herself. Recognize the effects of separation from our loved ones. But at least, we have all been doing it with the rest of the country. Not this woman, she was alone in her crisis.
Another point of difference between our current crisis situation and this woman’s is, our situation started just a few weeks ago. Her situation took entirely too long and robbed her of twelve years of her life.
Conversely, remember our original point, WE’VE ALL GOT ISSUES. Maybe we have had some issue(s) in our life for so long that we have taken it on as our identity and even wear it as a stigma.
What we see in this woman’s life is the same for us. Our issues affect who we are, how we live, respond, and interact with God and others. Many people today have a messed up identity. They have believed and identified with what happened to them or what someone said about them.
Let’s take a moment to summarize her issues so far.
- A flowing blood issue that produced a
- Broken identity of unclean that made her
- Untouchable and a social outcast which caused her
- To live a lonely life
- That lasted 12 years
Now let’s evaluate her problems that we see in Mark 5:26.
And suffered many things from many physicians.
She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.
- She suffered a lot
- And desperately sought a cure
- She was broke
- And her condition grew worse than when it first began.
Remember – One unresolved issue will lead to a whole host of others.
That is why we need to face and deal with our issues because eventually those issues accumulate. They become “too much.” Then we handed the enemy a “too much” tool to use against us and make us believe that we are beyond help or hope.
You see, this woman’s issue cost her too much. It cost her too much money and TOO MUCH time. Twelve years is a long time to deal with any issue. The longer we struggle with something the more impossible it seems and the harder it is to hold on to hope.
That was once my story.
Alcohol had a grip on me for so long that I did not know I could be set free or how I could ever be free. In my pre-Jesus life, I spent a great deal of time in night clubs and bars. I remember one particular night when I was a new believer, but still drinking. My husband and I drove past a Night Club that I had once spent time at and I said “I can’t imagine a time that I will not want to go in there and I surely can’t imagine that I could ever not want to drink.”
20 years later, I can tell you that Jesus changed my lifestyle and desires. My journey with Jesus to freedom from the bondage of alcohol and a complete change of desires was not instant or easy, but I am free and this has been the greatest journey of my life.
What else had this flowing issue cost her?
- TOO MUCH disappointment, heartbreak, pain, suffering, rejection, and failure.
Think about this. She had given everything she had and kept getting worse. Can you imagine the disappointment and failure of trying over and over again, anything and everything someone recommended and the result was worse off than you began? I am sure that she felt like no one understood her suffering and all that her issue had cost her. Is that you? Do you have an ongoing issue that is costing you too much? What is it costing you to stay the same?
Take a step toward Jesus and allow Him to take you on a journey to healing and freedom.
You see, one touch of Jesus changes things. Jesus transformed her life in an instant. Jesus has done great things for me and transformed my life, but still I have issues that I daily bring to Him and let Him handle.
The good news is, Jesus is not bothered by our issues and is well able to handle them no matter what they are. Take your issues to Jesus and let Him once and for all remove the stigma transforming your situation from shame to gain.