Have you ever tried to be “perfect”? If so, did you succeed? Let me just confess that I have tried to be “perfect” many times, almost daily, and I have failed every time. I wake up each morning with a “You can do it!” mentality that I will be able to shed every flaw I am plagued with. It’s as if I wake up and begin my worship time as an ugly caterpillar but when I’m finished, I expect myself to come out of worship as a beautiful butterfly fully transformed. I literally create my “perfection” checklist during worship time and expect myself to keep all of those checks in place throughout the day. When I miss once check, it’s easy to get discouraged and give up. This vicious cycle is utterly exhausting, disappointing and frightening.
This morning for devotions I read Mark 5:21-43 about A Dead Girl and a Sick Woman. I’ve read this story many times, but today, I felt like I was reading about myself. The story begins with a father desperately asking Jesus whether he will heal his dying 12-year-old daughter. Of course Jesus is willing and goes with the man. While Jesus makes his way through the crowd to heal the little girl, there is an old woman there who has been bleeding for 12 years. No one, not even doctors, have been able to heal her. However, when she hears about Jesus, she believes that if she just touches Him she will be healed. And that’s exactly what happens. Jesus tells her that her faith has healed her and that she’s is freed from her suffering. Right after that, some men bring news that the man’s daughter has died. Jesus simply replies, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Soon enough, Jesus is at the girl’s room and raises her from the dead.
I had a wonderful childhood, but during high school betrayal, heartache and life’s horrible consequences got the best of me. It resulted with many of the struggles that I still battle today and sometimes it feels like I died before I was able to become an adult. And other times it feels like the problems had no beginning, that they’ve just always been. This internal struggle that I have to solve my own problems and become “perfect” has literally made me feel like an old woman. So there I am, a girl who only got to live 12 years of her life and an old woman who has been suffering an illness for 12 years.
The beautiful thing about this story is that they were both healed. What was it that healed them? What was it that made them “perfect”? Jesus, of course, is the only one who could help them, but if it wasn’t for faith perhaps the healings wouldn’t have taken place. What I love about this story is how there were two different faiths that healed. With the old woman, her own faith allowed her to be healed. With the little girl, it was her father’s faith that healed her.
Jesus is not only able to heal all of our problems, He also wants to. If you’re like me and you’ve been longing to be freed from the bondage that sin has caught you up in, believe and allow Jesus to do it. What can you do to believe? Spend time getting to know Jesus. Come to Him in worship, not to meet one of your “perfection” checks, but to get to know the Healer. You see, we cannot make ourselves “perfect.” But Jesus, well, “He can do it!” And if you feel like your faith is struggling, then find someone who loves you and who has the faith that Jesus will heal you. Remember the words of Jesus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”