Have you ever prayed for God to intervene for twelve years? Or, like me, are you tempted to stop praying after only a few years, or even just a few months?
In Mark 5:25 we meet a woman who had suffered with a bleeding condition for twelve years. Not only did she suffer physically, but socially and emotionally as well.
Because of the bleeding, she was considered “ceremonially unclean.” During this time, others were not to even touch her.
No warm hugs. No comforting pats. No grasping of hands.
Imagine life without the comfort and camaraderie of physical touch.
Now imagine it for twelve years. Did she even still feel connected to people?
Imagine growing up in faith, trained in all the preparation for worship for the Sabbath. In fact, helping with this was an honorable rite of passage. But bleeding bans participation from this, for twelve years.
Did she still feel connected to God? The God who could halt this horrible condition. Year after year there seemed no change.
What was her life like? She wasn’t allowed close proximity with people. She wasn’t welcome in worship. Was her life a recipe for depression?
As we read further into Mark we learn “she had suffered a great deal under the care of doctors and had spent all she had. Yet instead of getting better, she grew worse.”
Her little girl dreams weren’t realized.
She couldn’t marry.
She didn’t have children; could not imagine such joy.
Instead, she was an outcast. An untouchable. Nothing left to try, nothing left to do.
Then she heard about Jesus.
She was determined to just touch his clothes. (A violation of her status for sure!) A risk she was willing to take because she believed He could heal her. “And when she touched his cloak, her bleeding immediately stopped.”
He had healed her!
After twelve years, God finally fulfilled her faith-based request.
After twelve years, her suffering stopped.
After twelve years she could once again share in humanity’s daily life.
Amazingly, she didn’t give up after year one, year five, or even year eleven.
Verse 34 tells us Jesus’ sweet words to her, “Daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
God never left her throughout her suffering. He saw her. He heard her. And, He determined the hour He would halt her misery.
We may not understand why God doesn’t seem to intervene early on or in our time frame. But we can trust He knows. He sees. He hears. And He will not allow us to suffer one second more than necessary.