Wednesday, September 29

Just a Touch of His Robe...

There's a story in the New Testament I always thought I understood. A woman with an issue of blood spent her life and life's savings trying to find a way to be healed. She worked with doctors, physicians, and people from all over the world... each who willingly took her money, leaving her poorer and poorer. Finally she was left with nothing. And then she heard that Jesus was walking through the streets near her home. "If I can but touch the hem of his robes," she thought, "I will be healed." And so she covered herself, pushed through the crowd, and reached out to catch the edge of His robe. In that moment, her pain disappeared. The issue of blood stopped. Christ turned, and after speaking with His disciples, spoke to her. "Woman, be of good cheer. Thy faith hath made thee whole."

I had always thought that this scripture was for people with great physical trials - that their faith would have the power to heal them if they just had enough and would just show it. Later, I thought that it extended to all those who struggle with major difficulties and trials in life - a promise that He would someday heal us. But I now realize that Christ wasn't speaking about touching His robe or asking for a miracle in life. He was teaching her, and all those following, a lesson on faith.

The true miracle of this story didn't come when the woman touched His robe. And, while impressive, the true miracle was not when the issue of blood stopped. The true miracle was the change in her heart - a willingness to submit to the will of the Lord and faith that He would bless her no matter what happened. It came because she had kept her faith, through difficult times, when everyone else in the world told her it was hopeless. It came because, though she had been deemed "unclean" by her ailment for decades, she held fast to the principles she knew to be true. It happened because she had done everything possible and finally given her life to the Lord. She changed her perspective - from one of expecting that money and power could heal her... to placing her trust in the Lord. And the healing of her issue of blood was just a symbol of the greater, more lasting change that had happened within her heart.

I used to think that simply doing everything I could would help me. That I could do it on my own. Then I realized that I needed to rely on the Lord, and expected Him to take away my grief. Now, I turn to Him and willingly place my life in His hands.

I don't know what tomorrow brings. But I know that God loves me, that He is involved in my life, that I can be happy and fulfilled in this life, and that, someday, if I am faithful, I will inherit all the blessings He has promised me. If the Savior stood beside me tomorrow and I could reach out to touch His robe, I would. But, if not, the greater miracle has already happened in my life.


  1. Thank you for sharing this! I found your blog from a link on face book about President Packers talk. I greatly appreciated that as well.

    You and I have very different trials in our lives and yet we can both learn and take away lessons from this woman in the bible. This past month has been a difficult one for me. I have struggled with infertility for 13 1/2 years. I have been blessed to adopt 3 wonderful boys, but the desire to be pregnant has never diminished. 5 weeks ago I found out that I was pregnant. We did nothing invasive to make this possible. We were just blessed with a miracle from Our Heavenly Father. 2 weeks ago I found out that the baby no longer had a heartbeat. At this time I had another miracle happen in my life. I have had unending love and comfort from the Lord. He was with me from the time I left the hospital. He has been with me consistently.
    Reading your words "The true miracle of this story didn't come when the woman touched His robe. And, while impressive, the true miracle was not when the issue of blood stopped. The true miracle was the change in her heart - a willingness to submit to the will of the Lord and faith that He would bless her no matter what happened. It came because she had kept her faith, through difficult times, when everyone else in the world told her it was hopeless", helped me to solidify my feelings on what has taken place in my life. I too believe that the true miracle happened in my life when I willingly placed my life in his hands. I know this because no matter what happens in my life he is there to help me, love me and guide me. I can and will be happy no matter what life deals me as along and I continue to place my life in his hands. Thank you for these beautiful words!

  2. Thank you for sharing a wonderful perspective of one of Christ's miracles that applies equally to all God's children.

  3. Absolutely wonderful post. Love it!

  4. Thank you for an incredibly faith-inspiring blog. There are so many people in my life that have an attraction for the same sex, some very close. Without exception, those that I know of have chosen to reject the church's teachings and follow their impulses. I feel so strongly that I love my family members and want to help them, but in a world full of controversy on the subject, I feel like I am being labeled intolerant and hate-filled because I want them to follow God's plan, even in difficult circumstances. In reading your blog, I feel the love and trust you have in our Father in Heaven, a love and a trust that has developed in part, I am sure, because of your particular trial. It gives me hope, and hope that I can learn to treat a sensitive subject with compassion and honesty.

    That being said, this was my favorite blog because it applies so much to me too. We all have our individual trials, and I've found that this attitude, trusting the Lord to do what is right for us, has helped me immensely through mine. Thanks for your thoughts. May the Lord be with you, and may you contiue to keep the faith.

  5. I think that another one of the treasures in this story is the Savior's response "Who touched me?" He could have moved on and never addressed her individually, but he cared enough about the "one" to stop and find her. In addition to that, during that time and in her culture, her "issue of blood" was essentially socially unacceptable, and made her a pariah in society. By singling her out and expressing love to her in public, the Savior demonstrated that he did not give heed to the norms of society identifying some groups as better than others. He didn't see her for her "issue of blood," but rather for her divine heritage and as a sister. I am confident the Savior would react in the same way to social "pariahs" of our modern community-- in the context of this blog, people with homosexual feelings and even actions.

    Thank you for your wonderful contributions through this blog. Your insights and opinions are so needed and only you can tell them with the voice that you do. You have such a special opportunity to influence this discussion, and I am grateful that you are taking on the challenge!

  6. I just wanted to briefly expand on what Kels said. All issues of blood were considered "unclean." If a woman was on her period she was forbidden to touch another, lest they be defiled. Because of her issue of blood she knew she could not touch the Savior himself. She did not want to defile Him in order to cleanse herself. It was with reverence and awe that she reached for His robe.

    As you so beautifully said above, we don't need to touch the Savior to be cleansed by Him. In fact, like the woman, we cannot touch Him. The change must begin in our heart.

    Thank you for your inspiring blog. I feel I'm a better person because of it.

  7. Thank you for your blog. I pray for you on your journey through this life. We all have our challenges and although I am a straight married woman, I have loved ones who struggle with this. It's very inspiring to listen to such a unique perspective. You have a beautiful soul and a great spirit about you, I know Heavenly Father loves you:)

  8. Well said, my friend. I had never seen the story in that light before. Thanks so much for your inspired insight!

  9. Thank you for your heart-felt posts and well-thought-out words. I am quickly learning that this blog is a fantastic resource for parents who want to understand and know how to listen and talk with their children about the topic of homosexual attractions. Thank you for sharing your insights.


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