Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
When I was 26 years old, I reunited with my biological father I had not seen since I was a year old. Ten years after our reunion, I found out he had been found dead, alone in a hotel room with cocaine strewn everywhere.
Losing my father was the culmination of years of pain. Suffering had been a steady theme throughout my life. My biological father was an alcoholic, a drug user, a cheater, and an abuser. Consequentially, my parents divorced before I was two years old. Growing up, I was mistreated and lived with severe family dysfunction. By the time I reached high school, I had numbed the constant pain by drinking alcohol, smoking, using drugs, and practicing eating disorders. When I turned 18, I was kicked out of my childhood home. I had no car, no career, and no direction for a promising future. For five years, I struggled to survive. There were days I didn’t know what I was going to eat, nights I didn’t know where I was going to sleep, and a time I wanted to take my own life.
After the loss of my biological father, I experienced a spiritual shift.
The first step was to acknowledge I needed Jesus in my life. After years of therapy, counseling, inner healing prayer, coaching, conversations with trusted friends, listening to sermons, and reading many books, I stepped into the freedom I never knew existed. Amazingly, this transformation began during my deepest pain.
It took courage to ask for help and reach out to Jesus to provide this, but I did it. His grace was profound, and He continues to heal me today. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t acknowledge He is the One who sees me through.
In Mark 5: 25-34, we read about a woman who experienced many years of pain, as I had experienced. This is a story I deeply relate to, and maybe you can too.
Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
Mark 5:25-27 NKJV
The woman suffered horribly from continual bleeding for over twelve long years. She spent all she had on treatments, but instead of getting better, she progressively got worse.
When she heard about Jesus’ healing power, she sought Him out. She reached out to Him in faith despite the crowds that nearly trampled her. When Jesus felt her touch His hem, which is representative of belief in the Word of God, He stopped, found the one who had touched Him, and acknowledged that her faith had caused healing to flow from Him.
After her encounter with Jesus, the suffering this woman had endured for so many years ended. She lived the rest of her life in the peace and freedom He provided. Her dependence on Him provided benefits. Jesus’s response to the woman with the issue of blood was to answer her need for healing and to set her free. His decision was instantaneous, compassionate, and lifted her from a place of severe pain, both emotionally and physically, to a place where she could live a transformed life. When He saw she was willing to exercise faith in Him despite the circumstances she had been dealt, He became an advocate for change.
Jesus was my advocate too, and I praise Him for this. He is positioned to be your advocate, as well.
Psalm 118:5 is a verse I have held onto for years because it addresses Jesus’ goal for us when we encounter suffering. The verse reads, “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free” (Psalm 118:5 ESV).
Friend, is there anything in your life you have suffered that needs Jesus’s healing touch? Has it caused you distress? If so, I challenge you to acknowledge that you need Jesus’ help. Reach out to Him in faith, and let Him transform your life. He delights in helping His own, and He wants us to depend on Him. One touch from the Master will set you free. He did this for the woman with the issue of blood, and He did this for me. My Lord is more than willing to do the same for you.
Will you ask Jesus to help you make the spiritual shift from distress to dependence that will help you begin your healing journey?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, it has taken a lot of courage for me to live through the suffering I have endured. It has taken even more courage for me to admit that I need Your help. Please help me believe that You have the healing power I need. Give me the courage to reach out to You in faith and receive the healing, peace, and freedom You want to give me. Whether my healing happens instantaneously, or it takes years, I trust You to work in my situation and to provide me with the patience I need as You carry me through. Amen.