Close Enough To Heal

Thursday, July 11, 2019



Photo by Ana-Maria Berbec on Unsplash

Several times since making this year "my year to grow," I've had the opportunity to speak to a group of people. Most recently, I was able to speak to a group of Young Women ages 12-18 at their church girl's camp about how the Lord helps us to bear our burdens. Surrounded by nature, in such a beautiful setting I was reminded of the strength that we can receive from the Lord, not only through what I was teaching, but through the acknowledgement of the anxiety that I had leading up to speaking. I actually really love public speaking. I want to do more of it. Yet it still makes me really anxious. What I love about it though, is the support that I get from the Lord as I speak the words He would have me say. I know that what I am doing is guided by Him. And He helps me to bear the anxiety that I feel. As soon as I start speaking, peace fills my soul, as well as joy and excitement. It is so beautiful. 

This is just one way that the Lord helps to bear my burdens. Through it all, I know He is guiding me and providing me the feeling of peace that I need to help me as I speak.

Even when life is filled with anxiety, peace and joy can be found. Even when life gets difficult, beauty and hope can be there. Even when we are in despair, we can still turn to the Lord. It is by turning to Him that we find peace. He will help bear our burdens. He will help us to heal.

I love the story of healing in Christ's life from the KJV of the Bible spoken of in Mark 5. There is a woman with an issue of blood who has sought healing where ever she could, yet it is only when she turns to Christ that she finds healing. For 12 years this woman suffered with a disease that no one could heal.

12 years.

It was not a short amount of time that she spent suffering with this affliction, it was years that she suffered with it. She got to the point where she was willing to give up everything that she had to be rid of her affliction.

Everything.

Is there anything that you want so bad that you would give up everything? Would you give up your pride?

I feel that this experience that this woman had, is not just about physical suffering, but that it could be applied to our emotional, spiritual, and other types of trials that we face. So, take some time to think about what it is that you are struggling with. Is it your sense of self worth? Are you grieving a dream or unfulfilled expectations? Is it a disappointment from failure, whether it be your own or someone’s you love? Is it a difficult time in a relationship with someone else? Is it a loss of your faith in God, or perhaps the emotional pain of a horrible experience?

Take time to think of the challenges that you are facing now. There is hope. And you can see that within this healing experience that this woman had.

She suffered for so long and sought out peace from that suffering many ways. In verse 26 it says that she, “suffered many things of many physicians.” The treatments themselves were causing her to suffer as well.

Sometimes we do things to numb the pain, to keep ourselves shielded from things we don’t really want to experience. Yet, this very thing can either harm us even more, or it just prolongs the pain we are already feeling. We might turn to addictive substances, which in turn, cause us to become dependent on them, both physically and emotionally. Or perhaps, we distract ourselves, pushing the emotional pain out of our conscious thoughts, trying to make it go away by just not thinking about it. And that can be okay for a little while, sometimes we need a break, but the longer we do so, the more depressed we may become, and we may end up suffering even longer than if we had accepted the pain for what it is.

Pain is part of the healing process, it allows us to know that there is something going on. In the case of grief it reminds us of our love for the person we do not have in our lives. In this case it can get easier in our lives, but only when we allow ourselves to mourn, and allow the healing of love to occur.


But it can take time, give yourself the patience that you need, the Lord is patient as well and will guide you. Trust in Him, listen to Him. When I struggled to feel the pain caused from losing a child in miscarriage, it took me a few years before I was really ready to open up and reach out to others about it. I needed time, but also I know that that is not an excuse, if you are ready to feel again, don’t allow excuses to creep in and keep you from doing so. You’ll see the incongruousness in your life. In some ways and in some cases, that’s what causes the depression, deep inside we know we are not living in a way that is congruent with our beliefs and values. In other cases, depression is a hormonal imbalance and the help of a professional is needed. This does not make you any less worthy of love and healing, we all face trials and for some that is clinical depression. Get the help that you need and know that Christ loves you so much.

The woman in Mark 5, with an “issue of blood,” was really trying everything she could to rid herself of the pain she was experiencing, yet it was still there. In fact it, “grew worse.”

Then something beautiful occurred.

In verse 27, “When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.”

She heard about the Savior. And she pushed her way through the “press.” Meaning that it was crowded. Christ was surrounded by other people. Yet this woman said, “If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.”

I want you to take a moment and think about the faith this woman must have had. After 12 years of suffering and seeking a cure, she was still open to hope, she was still moving forward. That doesn’t mean that she didn’t have periods of doubt, that she didn’t feel hopeless at times. We all go through such times. But, something was sparked within her to help her believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior. And she believed that all she had to do was touch his clothes.

It starts with a desire. A desire to believe. That is where faith comes from. Then, as we plant that seed of desire in our hearts and nourish it (Alma 32), that seed begins to grow into the faith that allows us to be healed. It is up to us to draw close enough, like the woman in Mark 5 did, to be healed by the Savior.

And here’s the amazing thing, we can be healed from any emotional wound because of the Savior. It doesn’t necessarily mean that all of our problems will go away, but what it does mean is that the Lord will help us to bear our burdens. He will give us the strength to overcome them. It may not happen in the timing that we want or even in the way that we want, but healing does occur and we do end up having the strength within, because He knows what we are going through, and He knows how to strengthen us.

In Alma 7:11-12 it says, “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”

Christ knows what we feel, because He has felt it too.

He knows.

And because He knows, we can turn to him, lay it all down at His feet, reach out to Him and tell Him all we are feeling, struggling with, and He will help us to have the strength we need to overcome. Because He experienced it all and because He overcame it all, He will give us of His strength, and through it we will be able to bear our burdens.

So, how do we allow that faith to develop within us? How do we allow ourselves to become close enough o be healed by the Savior?

Through prayer, through the scriptures, His word, through seeking after the things that are good. Through actively training our thoughts to believe in Him, through surrounding our thoughts with good and uplifting things that teach us about Him. By actively choosing to allow His power to be within our lives.

In Ether 12:27 it says He, “will make weak things become strong unto them.” It is okay that we are weak, because it is through that weakness that we, “may be humble (Ether 12:27).” Our weaknesses help us to turn to Him and allow Him to be in our lives. He will help us turn our weaknesses into strength.

And if we humble ourselves, He will make us strong.

In Mark 5:29 it says of the woman with the issue of blood, “And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.”

She was healed.

We too can be healed.

The story does not end with her healing though. And for that I am thankful because there is still so much goodness inside of it. So many gems of wisdom from which we can learn.

Verse 30, “Jesus, immediately knowing in in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?”

First, I want to point out that she did what she set out to do, which was touching his clothes. His clothes. She did not physically touch the Savior for the healing to occur, only his clothes. Likewise, we do not need to touch the Savior physically to be healed. The healing occurs as we spiritually are close enough to Him.

Second, I want to talk about the use of the word virtue here. If you have the King James Version of the Bible from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is a footnote next to the word, “virtue.” A footnote means that there is more information about that word of phrase. In looking at the footnote it has GR next to it, meaning there is an alternate translation from the Greek text. That translation is “power, strength.”

Virtue = power

Virtue = strength

Jesus recognized that someone had borrowed strength and power from Him. As I’ve said before, Christ gives us the strength and the power we need to bear our burdens. This woman received that strength and power to be healed. So can we.

Next, in verse 31, is the response of Christ’s disciples, “Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?”

Remember that Jesus was in a crowd of people. All around him there were people, touching him, pushing their way through the busy area. And yet, Christ noticed the woman, he noticed the one.

Just as he notices you.

Individually.

You.

Each of us matters to Him on an individual, personal level.

Don’t compare yourself to another. As I said before we all have our struggles, many of them unseen by others. This is the case for you, it is the case for others as well. What’s important is you.

You matter.

You are loved.

You can be healed.

Christ sees you.

He is your Savior.

You.

He knows you. He sees you. He believes in you.

Believe in Him.

Reach out to Him.

Be healed by Him.

Push your way through the “crowds” of pain. Push your way through the thoughts of disbelief and failed treatments. Push your way to Him.

No, it may not be easy. But, that does not mean it isn’t worth the effort.

It is so worth the effort. Peace, love, joy, hope, they are all possible through the Savior.

Believe in Him. Let that seed grow within you. He is there.

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20).

He is there knocking turn to Him. Be not afraid.

“And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.” (Mark 5:33)
Yes, it is hard. Yes, it can be scary. Sometimes we fear even the change that is occurring within us as we reach out to Him. But, remember, it is all worth it. This woman feared, yet she still “came and fell down before him.”

And remember, oh please remember, his response to her: “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (Mark 5:34).”

Daughter

Faith

Peace

Be whole

And though this next one was said to someone else just moments later, “Be not afraid, only believe (v. 36).”

Turn to Him. Believe in Him. And find the healing that comes from so doing. 


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