Saturday, November 11
Day 20: The Needs of the Hurting
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from ALL their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.”
– Psalm 34:17-19, NIV
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
– Psalm 138:13-14
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
– Isaiah 41:10, NIV
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
– Jeremiah 1:5, NIV
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
– Jeremiah 29:11, NIV
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
– John 10:10
“Be the hands and feet of Jesus” is something I’ve heard my whole life. As a young Christ-follower I would pray for a calling. I assumed if I didn’t know FOR SURE what my calling was, then I should probably be a missionary overseas. I was young and wasn’t sure how this all worked. As I got older, got married, and started a family, I did not feel I was called to go overseas. While I have done several things I’ve felt called to do, they’ve all centered around helping people. Loving people is what Jesus did, and sometimes we need to stop and meet the need right in front of us before meeting the need we are “called” to.
In Mark 5:21-43, Jesus was on His way to heal a sick young girl—whom we later discover had died—and he stopped. He stopped because someone touched Him. A grieving father idly stood by, observing this impromptu encounter with Jesus. Jesus stopped EVERYTHING to attend to the need right in front of Him. That woman was healed the moment she touched the hem of His garment because of her faith. Jesus could’ve continued to the dying girl’s house without pause, but He stopped to address this woman. There are many parts of this story that can be dissected. We can talk about how the woman had bled for 12 years and the little girl was 12 year old. Both were nameless in the Bible, but Jesus called the woman daughter, on His way to heal a man’s daughter. They were both unclean (by Jewish law) but Jesus touched them both, which restored them both. I’m sure there are more parallels I’m overlooking, but I want to focus on this…
God is moved to action by our faith, even when He’s in the middle of doing something else!
I have dealt with death a lot in my life. I’ve shared the loss of my daughter with others, in the hopes of helping them with their grief—and it continues to bring me healing as well. Healing does not always look exactly like what we are hoping for, but sometimes healing looks like connection, acceptance, and belonging. The woman who had been bleeding for 12 years felt alone. She was shunned by the world, her friends, and even her family. She hadn’t felt the touch of another human for 12 years. This encounter with Jesus changed her. She felt accepted. She felt a connection. She felt like she belonged the moment Jesus called her daughter. Love can be a touch from a friend or loved one in a moment of shame, hopelessness, or deep pain. It can pull us into acceptance and remind us we are loved and called children of God.
Jesus met the need directly in front of Him, but how can we meet the needs of those quietly hurting around us? As Jesus demonstrated, we first have to slow down and notice people and what they may be going through. Then, we can reach out to them, offer support, and simply listen to them without judgment. And if (when) we find ourselves in a place where we need help or hope—like the sick girl, the frightened father, or the afflicted woman—we can call to mind this story and remember two things: God is always near, and the smallest outreach on our part is enough to invite his compassion and healing.
Father God, we live in a world where people are struggling to find their identity. We know it’s less about WHO we are and more about WHOSE we are. You created us. You have set us apart. You have died for us. Apart from you we are nothing. We pray for comfort of those who have lost loved ones. We pray for those looking for answers. We pray for those feeling hopeless. Father God, show up in their lives. Remind them of WHOSE they are. Remind them you don’t just want them, but you leave all others to go find them. We know you can do all things. We depend on your truth. We rely on your grace and your mercy. Thank you for being a God who calls us sons and daughters. We love you. We praise you. We give you all the glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By Kyle Harden
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