It was an act of desperation, really. There was a nervous excitement in her body… adrenaline rushing through her as if she were about to fight for her very life. Her mind was a blender of thoughts and emotions as she anxiously skirted the edge of the crowd, peering through them to catch a glimpse of her goal. In mere milliseconds, her mind weighed the thought of missing the greatest opportunity of a lifetime with the possibility of utter failure and defeat.
She moved closer into the crowd, timing her reach. The voices of the excited crowd drowned to silence in her focus. Her eyes quickly caught glimpse of an opening, and time stood still for just a moment. She thrust her arm in front of her body, lunging her hand forward… fingers outstretched… she closed her eyes… she felt the brush of linen under her weathered and wrinkled skin. Like a flood of raging water, everything around her gained speed and volume as she felt a rushing power flow through every fiber of her body! Incredulous and beside herself, she fell back into the crowd.
It was nearly twelve years ago that she first discovered an abnormal flowing of blood from her body. At first, she didn’t think the problem was too severe, but soon realized that it was not going away. For twelve years, she has suffered, and each day of every year she wished it would stop. Over the years, she had seen physician after physician, but to no avail. Not only had she spent every dime she owned to purchase a healing, and find a release from her pain, in the end she had not improved at all.
Many people can sympathize with this woman. Maybe you can, too. Maybe you know what it’s like to go through life wishing things were different… that you were different. Praying that the pain you’ve felt for so long could somehow be relieved. Physical. Emotional. Spiritual. Maybe we can all relate somehow to the desire for change. Tired of waking up each day and facing the same dilemma… the same face in the mirror that echoes years of discouragement and shattered dreams.
She sank back into the crowd, a refreshing cool overwhelming her. She felt the flow of blood that was once constant suddenly stop. What had happened to her? What was she feeling?
It was at that instant that Jesus turned himself around in the group that pressed against him while he walked.
“Who touched me?” he demanded.
“What do you mean, ‘who touched you’, Jesus?” his disciples stated, “Everyone is touching you… You see the crowd pressing against you and you say, ‘Who touched me?’”
Jesus said, “I felt power flow out of me… someone touched me.” And he looked around him to see who it was.
The woman, trembling, pressed back through the crowd and dropped before him. “It was me, Lord… I touched you. I had to touch you… I had no other hope, and I had to touch you.”
“Daughter, your faith has made you well… go in peace and be healed.”
It’s a great quality in a person that causes them to take interest in God, and many people actually take the step to know him better than they have before. But there is a place in Him that many people never realize, because they are content with simply rubbing shoulders with him. They get into his presence… like the crowd that day… they even touch him. But they don’t really touch him. They sing their songs in the congregation, but they don’t really sing. They even preach, and never really preach. People attend church faithfully every week with the hope of touching Jesus, but they never really touch him.
There is so much more to a relationship with God than a superficial recognition of him. There is a deepness that many people never realize, but that is open to everyone.
I cannot be content with merely being in his presence. I can’t be satisfied with only rubbing shoulders with him. My needs are too great. My desire is too overwhelming. I don’t want just a closeness with him… when there is a place that is closer.
What would happen if we just tried to press in beyond our past efforts, or failed attempts at knowing God? What resources would be available to us? What healings? What peace? What fulfillment?”
What would happen if we really touched him?