Woman with the Issue of Blood: She Chose to Live
I know that I’ve written about this woman before, as she is one of my favorite stories in Scripture. In my very humble opinion, this story has a million different layers and viewpoints, and that’s what makes it so compelling. For someone there that day, it was a day of business and activity, but for this woman, it was the day that she was healed completely.
That being said, there are a lot of different ways that this blog could go, but I’m going to talk about a concept that I think is really important. There’s a really popular phrase that Christians say: “God never gives us more than we can handle.”
The woman with the issue of blood is the antithesis of that statement.
God had given her a lot more than she could handle.
She had a disease for twelve years, spent all her money and “suffered many things of many physicians” (Mark 5:26).
“To handle” literally means “to take control of," and it’s pretty clear from her story that she was not in control of her situation.
So, instead of laying in her bed, wallowing in her pain, she took a chance and got up to go and see Jesus.
She touched His garment and not only was healed, but was given eye contact with the Savior of the world.
If God had given her what she could handle, would she ever have gotten up out of bed to see Jesus?
You see, the point here is that God overwhelms us. Our lives turn crazy; our situations spiral, and that’s OK, because that pushes us to make a decision.
We either fall further and further into grace, or we turn more and more into our own ever-changing human hands.
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard brothers and sisters in my branch stand up and thank God for a trial that they just went through because it brought them closer to God and revealed something more about the everlasting love He has for us.
This woman shows the benefit of being given that choice, and she chose grace and miracles and power and salvation, which is the point of life: to live.
She chose to live.
In her pain and her overwhelmed state, this woman got up and chose to live.
The key here is that if she were not overwhelmed, if she were not sick of her pain and her doctors and losing her money, she never would have walked out her door to find Jesus.
If I had all the food I wanted, would I ever go and get more? No.
She had more than she could handle; she had more than her doctors could handle. She wasn’t in control of anything except that moment of decision to go see Jesus or not.
This woman is an example for us that, in our daily lives, in those moments where we are overwhelmed and exhausted and confused, we choose grace and we choose Jesus.
In that moment where I get a speeding ticket, or someone hits my car, or something at work goes poorly, I choose grace.
Jesus is literally ready, standing to save us. He is literally passing by every day, and we each have the chance to reach out and grab hold of the garment.
God is good, but He certainly gives us more than we can handle so we can fall further and further into grace upon grace upon grace upon grace upon grace.
Editor's note: The popular phrase, "God never gives you more than you can handle", as Sister Alena points out here, isn't found anywhere in scripture. It's commonly confused with 1 Corinthians 10:12-13, which says that God will not tempt you beyond your ability and provide an escape route.
Image credit: "Jesus Healing The Woman With the Issue of Blood," Paolo Veronese
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.