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My wounds are deep, yet I pray to you dear Lord to heal these wounds. I am weak, with no strength left, yet I pray to you to revive me, to restore me. The cold overtakes me, it chills me to the bone, yet I praise you for your promise of spring and new life. Despite the crushing weight of this world, I will press on and praise you. You are my hope, my life dear Lord.

“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. ” – Hosea 6:1-3 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

Some days the pain was too much to bear, yet I could find no one who could give me relief. Some told me of this man, this prophet named Jesus, who was healing people. Word was out that he was coming to shore from across the lake. I hurried to meet this man, but I was disappointed when I arrived and saw a large crowd pressing in around him. I knew that must be Jesus.

I tried to get closer, but too many people were in front of me. I strained to see above the crowd to get a glimpse of this man. That’s when I saw Jairus, one of the synagogue leaders, standing by Jesus. I was amazed when I saw Jairus fall at the feet of Jesus. I could see the tears in his eyes as he spoke: “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.”

A woman next to me had a wide-eyed stare. I recognized her as the woman from town who suffered for years from bleeding. I met her a couple times when I visited the doctor. She had spent all she had on doctors, seeking a cure, but her condition only worsened. “Are you okay?” I asked her.

“Jairus said if Jesus just put his hands on his little girl, she would be healed.”

“Yes,” I nodded. “That’s what he said.”

“Maybe if I just touch his robe,” she said as she continued to stare at Jesus.

“Just touch him? But how could that heal you?” I questioned her.

She didn’t respond. She just pressed into the crowd and disappeared from my sight. I looked at Jesus and saw him following Jairus as they walked. “He must be going to Jairus’ house,” I thought. I moved with the crowd as we followed Jesus. I wanted to see if his touch could really heal.

A moment later I saw Jairus and Jesus stop. “Who touched my clothes?” Jesus asked.

One of his disciples said what I thought, “You see the people crowding against you and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

But Jesus persisted and kept looking in the crowd for who had touched him. I pushed my way into the mass of people surrounding Jesus for a closer look. That’s when I spotted the woman, who I saw just moments ago, fall at his feet. She was trembling as she told him what she did.

“Daughter, your faith has healed you,” Jesus said to her. “Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

“Had she really been healed by just touching him?” I wondered. “Could I also be healed by just touching him?”

I tried to get closer to Jesus and Jairus, but some people pushed past me and stopped in front of Jairus. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

I could see Jairus’ face sink as tears began to stream down his face. That’s when I heard Jesus say to him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

I wanted to follow them to Jairus’ house, but he only let a few of his disciples go with him. I watched as they disappeared from sight. I was amazed as I stared at the woman who had suffered for years. The pain she always wore on her face was gone, replaced by joy. Could he bring Jairus’ daughter back to life?” I thought. His words echoed in my mind, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

#WednesdayWalk Through the Bible — an exploration of what unknown people might have seen or felt when they witnessed the events in the Bible. This post is from the perspective of someone who encountered the woman healed from years of bleeding as told in Mark 5:21-36 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

#ThrowbackThursday — This post originally published June 7, 2017.

I laid on a bed in the emergency room as the doctor asked me multiple questions about my condition. I answered each question as best as I could, hoping it would help her find what ailed me.

“Does it hurt here?” She finally asked as she pressed the area where I was experiencing discomfort in my abdomen.

“Yes,” I replied as the pressure from her hand made the pain worse.

She paused with a brief look of concern, yet a look that expressed knowledge of what was going on inside of me. The doctor’s patient dialogue with me helped identify what was wrong inside my body. She now had an idea of the potential source of the pain that prompted me to go to the hospital. A subsequent CAT scan enabled a look inside of me that confirmed her suspicions.

Later, after we left the hospital, I thought about how much faith I put in the doctor. I knew something was not right inside of me and I turned to the doctor in the hospital to figure out what was ailing me and to find the right remedy. She gave me a prescription to fight the infection and further instructions to help me get well.

It made me contemplate why I don’t always have the same faith in God or even my church to help me with my struggles in life. Usually the barrier is that I refuse to dialogue with people in my church or even God about the emotional pain deep inside of me. No one can help us if we don’t first open up about the hurt we feel inside. We must be open to prayerfully seeking God for help; open to dialoguing with him. Then we must trust that his instruction is for our own good.

There are many instances in the gospels where people pursued Jesus for healing. In Luke 8:43-48 a woman reaches out to touch Jesus for healing. In Mark 2:1-12 men lower a paralyzed man from the roof in an effort to reach Jesus for healing. Then there is the blind man in Mark 10:46-52.

In this passage the blind man hears that Jesus is walking by and he cries out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus then asks him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replies, “Rabbi, I want to see.” Verse 52 tells us that Jesus responds, “Go, your faith has healed you.” The man then received his sight.

What if the blind man had not reached out to Christ or not told him what he wanted Jesus to do? It is the dialogue with God that is important; our faith in God to come to us with the right approach to what ails us inside. As Jesus said in John 14:14, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

© 2017 CGThelen

When I was in high school, I would often work for my uncle on his dairy farm after school and on weekends. One time we were working on his tractor when he asked me to get a specific tool hanging on the wall in his workshop. I dutifully hurried into his cluttered shop and searched the wall amidst dozens of spare parts and tools hanging on the walls. To my dismay, I could not find the tool he requested. Several minutes passed when my uncle appeared and grabbed the tool from the wall right in front of me. “It’s right here,” was sall he said, but I’m sure he was thinking, “Are you blind?”

I thought about this incident when I read John 9:13-41 where a blind man received sight from Jesus and the Pharisees refused to believe it. Just like me in my uncle’s shop, they could not see what was right in front of them — a man born blind who was now able to see because of Jesus. Amidst all the clutter in their life, they could not see past his claim that Jesus gave him sight. All they could see was that Jesus broke the Sabbath, that he must be a sinner. Like my uncle, the former blind man stood before them and pointed out the obvious, “I washed, and now I see (15).”

In the course of our life we accumulate a lot of clutter that can prevent us from seeing what is right in front of us. The Spirit of God keeps pointing out Jesus at work in our life and some days we just can’t see it. “It’s right here,” the Spirit tells us. What you need is right here.” Jesus patiently rubs mud on our eyes and tells us to go wash. As living water washes away our earthly blindness, we are able to see our creator more clearly through the clutter in our life. His light penetrates our soul so Christ’s work becomes more evident to us.

© 2019 CGThelen

In Ezekiel 40-47:11. Ezekiel is shown visions of the temple of God. What struck me about this passage was the description in Ezekiel 47:1-12 where Ezekiel is shown water “coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar (verse 1).” The water starts as a trickle from the altar and soon becomes a mighty river. Ezekiel is told the water eventually flows into the Dead Sea where the “salty water there becomes fresh (8).”

Because of the fresh water, there are a lot of fish and “Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows (9).” The passage describes fruit trees growing on both sides of the river because of the water from the sanctuary. Verse 12 tells us: “Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.” I find this passage as a vision for what our churches today should be in this world.

Like the water from the altar, we should flow out of churches each week and press into the Dead Sea culture around us. Our fresh water faith in Christ should push back the brine with living water. Where ever we flow, we should support trees that bear fruit, bringing nourishment and healing to people we encounter during the week. With the living water we carry, “Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail (12).”

© 2019 CGThelen

I sat with her in her living room as she talked about her life. Somehow she managed to keep her frail body upright in the chair. A small plastic tube by her nose fed her oxygen as she spoke with a raspy voice. I could sense the bitterness as she told me about past injustices done to her from decades ago. Over the years I had known this aged woman it seemed the grip of bitterness had only grown tighter on her life. It seemed to cripple her to the point where she was hunched over, eyes pointed toward the floor. I longed to free her from the bondage of unforgiveness with the loving touch of Jesus Christ, but she would have nothing to do with it.

Days later I came across Luke 13:10-17 where Jesus healed a woman crippled “by a spirit for eighteen years.” Toward the end of the passage Jesus remarked that she had been kept bound all those years by Satan. What is interesting about this passage is that the woman does not seek healing from Jesus. She was there in the synagogue listening to Jesus teach and he called her forward. Jesus told the woman, “you are set free from your infirmity.” He placed his hands on her and then she, immediately “straightened up and praised God.”

It reminded me of my aged friend I visited a few days earlier and how she chose to let Satan hold her in the grip of bitterness — choosing to let past injustices keep her bent over and unable to straighten up. She was emotionally and now physically crippled, refusing to even enter a church to hear the teaching of Christ. She refused to hear Jesus call her forward so he could touch her with his grace and release her from the grip of Satan. She chose to remain hunched over in bitterness instead of letting Jesus set her free from the grip of Satan.

In this life we are often struck by emotional and physical events that can cripple us for years. Satan wants to bind us with these infirmities so that we remain crippled, hunched over with our eyes to the ground so we are unable to stand and raise our hands to praise and worship God. Jesus calls us forward to touch our lives, but the grip of the injustices of this life hold us back from receiving his freedom. Instead we listen to those, like the synagogue leader in this passage, who don’t want us to receive Jesus Christ and his healing touch. We remain hunched over in bitterness with eyes pointed to the ground instead of Jesus.

#ThrowbackThursday — This post originally published March 10, 2017.

© 2017 CGThelen

May you this day dear Lord, call out to those who are faithful to you. May they hear your voice to respond to the hurting. May they have eyes to see the pain in others. May they have ears to hear the cries of pain. Give them discernment to bring compassion to those ready for your healing. Equip them with the words, the actions to bring eternal healing to those crying out for relief. May the balm of your gospel message soothe the tired soul. May it bring strength and calm in the midst of the storm.

Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people. – Jeremiah 8:22 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

Today Lord I think of your servants who have chosen to become therapists. I am amazed at their patient work with broken people, listening to deep hurt, traumatic events and emotional pain. They validate the pain and direct so many toward healing. I think of how they can help people beaten down by life and raise them up; how they can help the weak become strong; how they can help fill those who are drained by ministry. I pray Lord you will give both therapist and client strength and wisdom. Fill them with your Spirit; fill them with the possible and remove the impossible. May they feel renewal as they work to rebuild lives.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:10-11 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

This day I praise you dear God for the doctors, nurses and other medical staff who were there this week for my minor surgery. It is by your hand dear God that you equipped them with skills and abilities to care for people; to help care for illnesses and injuries. I am thankful for the years of training they completed to be available to care for people. I praise you dear God that you gave us medical professionals who continue to research and learn new ways to care for patients. May they also acquire a new appreciation of you dear God and your creation.

Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. – Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV)

“I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners, creating praise on their lips. Peace, peace, to those far and near,” says the Lord. “And I will heal them.” – Isaiah 57:18-9

© 2019 CGThelen

At the bedside, in the hospital we wait. Tubes and monitors hooked up to our loved ones, we wait for good news. We wait on God to bring healing; from the depths of our sorrow, we cry out to God for healing. Yet all we can do is wait; wait for the broken and ravished body to heal.

While doctors monitor our loved ones as they lay in the hospital bed, God monitors us; he knows our pain, our suffering, our sorrow. His one and only son Jesus was crucified, willingly sacrificed so that he could redeem us; so that we can be saved from the grip of sin and death.

We wait at the bedside of our ailing loved ones. We feel the pain of watching them suffer. We may even cry out, “God, why have you abandoned me?” But God is there. He is always there right by our side. Reach out to him and take his hand. Find strength and comfort in the one who knows your pain, the one who created you.

Dear God fill us with your hope, your strength, your peace. As we worry about the unknown, the future, may we find comfort in you. May those this day who are waiting at the bedside of ailing loved ones feel your peace surround them. May they know that God knows their pain. May they feel the hand of Christ Jesus upon them, the one who knows suffering and pain. May they find rest as they keep vigil over their loved ones day after day. In Jesus name we pray.

If you desire, share your joys and concerns in a comment so we can lift them to God in prayer.

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

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