Saturday, August 25, 2018

You Are Never A Bother or Too Far Gone

"For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
Hebrews 4:15,16
(KJV)

Have you ever felt like your prayers have turned into more of a broken-record chant?
Have you prayed for something for so long that you fear God may be tired of hearing your voice?
Instead of feeling the liberty to "come boldly to the throne of grace," do you approach God with trepidation and hesitancy?
Perhaps you feel like you are interrupting God from something or someone more important than you?
Do you feel like the ugliness of your sin is too much for God to handle?
Does shame hold you back from approaching Him in your current state?

I want to share a story that you are very familiar with as a reminder of the way God sees you and the things that touch your life.
It is found in Luke 8:41-56, and the gist of the story is this—
A man in authority who was a ruler of the synagogue, named Jairus, came to Jesus and fell down at His feet.
The Bible says Jairus "besought" Jesus, which means He was pleading with Him, BEGGING Him to come to His house to heal his little twelve-year-old daughter who was dying.
As Jesus made His way toward Jairus' house, the people thronged Him.
And, right into the midst of this situation came one of the biggest interruptions recorded in the Bible.

In the crowd of people who were thronging Jesus was a woman who had been suffering for a very long time.  Hers was no insignificant sickness.  She had been plagued with "an issue of blood" for twelve, long, agonizing years.  Women in this condition were considered "unclean."  If they touched someone, that person would then also be considered ceremonially unclean and would have to follow certain remedial guidelines to be considered clean again.  (Read Leviticus chapters 12 and 15 for a detailed explanation.)  The shame that was attached to this woman was debilitating and beyond humiliating.  Imagine trying to live life in her condition for twelve years, with no reprieve.  It is incomprehensible to think of the suffering and torment she had endured, but even worse, just think of the isolation she must have felt.

Through the years of her condition, she had spent everything she had going to doctors, trying to find relief.  It was all to no avail.  Instead of getting better, she continued to get worse.
I imagine it took everything she had to fight her way through the crowd and make it to Jesus that day.
Who knows what distance she had to travel or what she went through to get there.
Undoubtedly, she was extremely weak from prolonged loss of blood.  Not to mention, trying not to physically touch anyone in such a tight-packed mob.   And, let's not forget the disdained reaction of others that accompanied such stigma.

I can just picture her making her way through that thick mass of people, more than likely stooped over or possibly even on her hands and knees—trying not to be noticed, holding her breath for fear she would be discovered, scorned, and openly disgraced.
This was her last chance for help.
Jesus was her one and only hope.  Nothing else had worked.  The fact that she openly pressed her way through such a multitude surely proves the desperation of her state.  This had to work, and no matter the cost, she was going to make contact.
At last, she made it.  There He was—standing right in front of her.  Close enough to touch.
But, no!  She must not touch Him!  She must come as close as she could without making physical contact!  So, she reached down—to the lowest part of His clothes—the very hem of His garment.  Was it enough?  She didn't have to wonder for long, for in less than a split second—immediately—her bleeding stopped!  She was HEALED!  Overwhelming relief was instantly replaced by the worst fear she had ever experienced when she heard Him speak.
"Who touched Me?"
It must have felt like time stood completely still for space of an eternity as the weight of His words settled over her anguished mind.
She waited, with baited breath, as everyone around her said, "It wasn't me," and Peter and His other followers said in astonishment, "Master, the multitude is thronging You and You are asking us who touched You?"
But, Jesus knew this had been no casual brushing of garments.
"And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me."  (verse 46)

Oh, that touch!
It was different from all the others.
Jesus knew.

Realizing she had been found out, the woman "came trembling and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately."  (verse 47)

Before all the people—she had to stand there, not knowing what would happen to her for such bold presumption and audaciousness, and not only confess to Jesus in front of them all that she had touched Him, she told Him why.  
Talk about courage.
She faced her fears, and regardless what the repercussions turned out to be, she fell at Jesus' feet and openly testified before all of the magnitude of what He had done for her.

Can you just picture the look on Jesus' face?
The compassion in His eyes?
The wall of stigma crashing to the earth around her?
I can just see the tenderness, the gentleness, the kindness, as He said unto her,
"Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace."

Daughter!  He had called her daughter!  No more an outcast!  No more a reject!
He had literally set her completely free from not only the horrors of her disease,
but from a life of bondage, fear, separation, loneliness, and despair.
He told her to "go in peace."
There was no reproof for what she had done.
Things were meant to happen the way they did.
What seemed an interruption to Jesus' plans was actually Divine appointment.
That glorious day, faith met virtue, and a miracle was granted to the one who sought Him so desperately.

This was just one account of the times Jesus was interrupted on His way to minister to someone else. He never made the person who was interrupting Him feel less important than the person He was on His way to see.  At the end of the day, He knew His Father's will would be done, and His goodness would not spoil, no matter how long it took for Him to get there.

By the time the "interruption" was over, they came and told Jesus that Jairus' little daughter had died.
But, more great news!
It didn't matter.
Jesus continued on His way, and He raised her from the dead!
Though it looked like He was too late, He was right on time.
Jesus was in no hurry to get to her because He knew that even death was no match for His power.
It didn't matter how long it took Him to get there, the end result would be the same.
Remember Lazarus?  (John 11:1-44)
Jesus found out he was sick and delayed going to heal him.
During the delay, Lazarus died.
By the time Jesus got to him, he had been dead for four days!
But, not to worry.
Jesus called Lazarus forth, by name, and raised him from the dead!

No matter what you are going through, no matter how many times you have come to Him, begging Him for the answer you so desperately need, you never become a bother to Him.
He can take whatever you bring to Him.
You, my friend, are important enough to Him that He is continually listening for your prayers.
"For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers."
I Peter 3:12
He loves to hear you pray.
He longs for you to reach out to Him from your place of desperation.
Regardless how dark the stain of your sin or how much the world looks down upon you for the condition you are in, Jesus never feels repulsed.
You are never too much for Him to take.
You can touch Him at any time.
Nothing you have done will ever cause Him to turn away.
He loves you so much!
Keep pressing your way through whatever you have to in order to get to Him.
Step forward in faith and touch the hem of His garment.
He has everything you need.
All you have to do is to come to Him.

"All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."  John 6:37

"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

Be encouraged, and know that there is hope for you.
It is found in the same One Who called the shamed woman "Daughter."
He loves you every bit as much as He loved her.
His compassion for you is every bit as strong.
Come as you are, and trust His heart.
Come to Him now, and be made completely whole.


30 comments:

  1. What a terrific exhortation to "press our way through the crowds."
    I'm so thankful that God is never too busy to listen to our prayers, and that we can never exceed the limits of His patient love.
    Blessings to you, Cheryl!

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    1. Thank you so much, Michele! Many blessings back to you, my friend.

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  2. Oh Cheryl,Things just get better and better here at your site..Many tears ran down my face as I read the sweet story here of Jesus and His precious love that is open to all humans..I have prayed so many prayers over and over and seems no answers will come but what a comfort to know His love and compassion is new each morning and He starts all over with Us each morning..What a Savior What a Christ!! It makes you want to run His arms many times a day..Thanks for the good lesson here for all of Us!! I felt God's Love as I read your words of hope to all of Us..God bless you with many Jesus Hugs today..Love and prayers follow You 3..Pray for Me..Oh Yea NEVER got the song but that is ok..That is your song from Heaven..Have a blessed week-end..Love Loads,Elaine Dunn Otvos

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    1. Sweet friend, thank you for your kind words! Oh, I am so sorry that the email will not go through. I truly don't know what else to do. There seems to be something wrong with your email, and it seems to block it or something? Or it could be this email. We have had phone and internet issues, so I do apologize. I am praying for you and sending much love your way today! Keep encouraged!

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  3. Wonderful lesson and reminder of the grace we too often take for granted. I love how you can take a familiar story and bring so much more encouragement to your readers. What a gift! Thanks for sharing it, sister.

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    1. Thank you ever so much, brother! God bless you for your kind words and encouragement. Praying for you.

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  4. My goodness, Cheryl, this just touched my heart. You have such a way about yourself in the way you express your message. Sending you special blessings.

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    1. Oh, how sweet and kind you are, my friend! You are a dear encourager to me. God bless you abundantly.

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  5. What a beautiful post, my friend. This precious woman had such faith in our Lord and Savior. Thank you, dearest Cheryl, for sharing God's love and your love for God. I was richly blessed by this post as it was something I needed this evening.

    Much love to you!

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    1. Thank you ever so much for your sweet visit and kind words, my friend! I am so thankful to know this ministered to you. Sending much love back your way and praying for you!

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  6. This was such a beautiful post today. I have always loved this passage, showing the love of Jesus to someone who would be an outcast from “normal” society. Oh, how it gives me hope that in spite of my many failings and the mistakes I have made, He will welcome me with open arms when I meet Him face to face. I can’t wait to hear the words “Welcome home.”
    Thank you Cheryl, for not only this post, but also your sweet comment on my blog. To some Polly may have been “just” a dog, but to Piper she was her constant companion.
    Blessings always,
    Betsy

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    1. Oh, thank you for your kind words, dear Betsy! I am so sorry about dear Polly, and I am praying for you and your family during this season of grief. My heart goes out to all of you and sweet, little Piper. God bless you and hold all of you close. So very thankful for you and your support and encouragement!

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  7. What a beautiful message that you gave, which seemed directly written to me, Cheryl! I know that I feel like a broken record in my prayers to Our Lord, but thank you for your loving words that you shared. I am learning to be thankful to Our Lord, and accept my hardships as a necessary part of life. I don't always like it, but I am learning to accept it. God is all knowing and all loving, and He has my best interest.

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    1. Yes, He surely does have our best interests at heart. You are such a dear blessing and encouragement to me and so many others, and I trust the Lord will bless you and answer every prayer you are praying. He is so pleased with you, my friend. Keep encouraged and trusting in Him. I'm praying for you and sending hugs your way. :)

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  8. Oh my mercy! I love this. Oh yes...we must press our way through the crowd at times. I love how you share the Word of Christ and most often the day I read your post is the day I needed that little extra something whether for myself or another. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Thank you, sweet friend. Your words of encouragement are always such a dear blessing to me. May the Lord bless you abundantly. Sending hugs and blessings and much love back your way!

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  9. Hi Cheryl, I just had another "AAHAA!" moment through your writing. How many times have I read the account of the woman with the bleeding issue and never made the connection with the Levitical law that those who were in the way of blood were considered unclean for seven days and if a person came near them they would be unclean and her actually touching Jesus! That sheds a whole new light on the faith of this women in Jesus to bring her healing. Second, your insight into how lonely her life must've been and how she suffered for 12 years also struck me in a new way of thinking when reading this passage.

    Your brought sooo much encouragement to this weary heart here today! The Lord has used you time and time again to minister to my soul.

    I will admit that since Friday I have been in one of my worst crises of faith ever. But God, who is rich and mercy in love, heard my crying out to Him last night and has minister to me through all manner of vehicle and here too with your sweet blog.

    Thank you so much precious friend! I am so thankful He brought you into my life. You are a cherished friend.

    Sending you much love and gratitude.

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    1. Oh, I am so thankful the dear Lord used this to bless you, my friend! You are such a blessing to me so many, many times, also. I am SO sorry you have been in a crisis of faith. I want you to know that I am praying for you and trusting God to see you through and lift this heaviness of trial. I am so thankful God has sent some relief and trust Him to continue to bless you abundantly. I am SO very thankful for you, too, and you are surely a precious, cherished friend to me. Sending much love and gratitude and many blessings back your way!

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  10. Cheryl,
    This is one of my favorite stories and I was thinking about it today so it was an extra blessing to read your words :-) So very grateful, God is never in a hurry and we are never "too much" for Him. You highlighted the courage she must have had to exercise to tell her whole story and how it was also an opportunity for Jesus to restore her in the eyes of all. Blessings to you :-)

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    1. Oh, wow, that is amazing that you were thinking of this story the same day you read it! Don't you love it when God does that? It is then that you know He is really trying to get a point across and is allowing things to happen noticeably enough to make us take a pause to see what He is trying to show us. Blessings to you, too, Dolly!

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  11. Dear Cheryl,
    Oh what sweet encouragement you bring here! God called me aside to an extra day of "cleansing rest" with Him today, so your words are just the right timing. Nothing that I feel ever goes on "too long" for His sweet mercy to run out. He is always so ready for my "interruptions." I have thought long about that woman's unclean status, and how merciful Jesus was to lift her out of shame. But I had never thought about the reason for touching just the hem of His robe--to keep the uncleanness away. Oh what great mercy from our God. Thank you so much for listening to His promptings and sharing. Blessings, love, and prayers for you also!

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    1. That is just so precious how God had pulled you aside the very day you read this, sweet friend! Oh, it surely was such great mercy from God to heal this dear, tormented woman and remove her uncleanness and stigma! He is a faithful God Who is true to every bit of His Word. Much love and gratitude to you for your faithful support and encouragement. I am praying for you and trusting you are feeling better.

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  12. Cheryl, what a beautiful reminder that we are never bothering God. What an encouraging truth this morning as I drink my coffee. I am so sorry I am so late in responding, I am trying to catch up. I think however, I read this just at the time I needed it most. You are a blessing sweet friend. Your faithfulness in teaching God’s Word and His truth always nourishes my soul, but His word always does.

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    1. Oh, my friend ~ I surely understand. I cannot seem to stay caught up lately, either. I am just so thankful for each time you are able to stop by. You always encourage me, and your dear blog is such an uplift to my spirits so many times. I cannot thank you enough for you kind words of encouragement. You are surely a blessing to me, too. Sending hugs your way!

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  13. Hello, I just found your blog.. Love it ....I am going to check back..

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    1. Oh, that is wonderful! So thankful and happy to have you on board! I hope you come back often. ;)

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  14. Hi Dear Friend, That is ok about e-mail and song..I have troubles on my end too.Guess it was just not to be so don't worry at all..Thanks for your love and support.God bless and hug all of you today..I enjoy my visits with you here on line..Mom came to your site each day and now I do.She will be gone 2 years Sept.6th..The awful wreck was Sept.5th which would have been my Dad's Birthday and she died Sept.6th at 11:12 pm My Birthday is 11,12 It all seems like a bad night mare that I will weak up from but I know I will not..So Sept. is a real hard month for Me..I NEED your prayers...Love Bunches, Elaine

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    1. Oh, I am so sorry about the song ~ I would have loved for you to have it. It touches me so deeply that your dear Mom came here every day! And, now you do the same. I am humbled beyond words if something you read here is a blessing and encouragement to you. That is really something how all of those dates and numbers correlated. I still can't believe your dear Mom is gone. I am so deeply sorry for your loss, and I just trust Jesus will hold you close and comfort your dear heart. May God take the sting and hurt away. Praying for you and sending much love to you, my friend.

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  15. Oh yes...I think Kitty mentioned sounding like a broken record...I have been there too. When ever I feel myself doing that, many times I have just shut my mouth and not uttered a word. Maybe all I could do was cry but then I realized I don't have to say a word because the Lord already knows everything that is on my heart. One scripture that brings such peace during those times for me is Romans 8:26...In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

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    1. Oh, sweet friend! I was JUST thinking of that song tonight where it says, "Go with words or tears or silence, only lay them at His feet, thou shalt prove how great His pity, and His tenderness how sweet." And, oh, that verse you shared! I LOVE that! Can you imagine the very Spirit of God interceding for us with groanings which cannot be uttered? It is surely in our weakness, as you said that He can really work and take over and intercede to the Father for what we need when we don't even know ourselves what that is. Thank you for sharing these wonderful thoughts. You are such a blessing and encouragement to me!

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