READINGOld Testament: Genesis 44:18-34
Psalms: Psalms 80, 77, 79
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 7:25-31
Gospel: Mark 5:21-43
Evening Psalms: 77,79
DEVOTIONAL“…A woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal… When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak… she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ Immediately … she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus… turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’” (Mark 5:24-30)
I intimately relate to the woman in today’s gospel. The health issues and challenges of living with chronic pain and physical limitations absolutely changed my lifestyle. In high school, my girlfriends didn’t appear to have the same sort of symptoms. They could run and jump, while I often had to stay home from school because my monthly symptoms were vastly different. I wondered what was wrong with me!
I was also an athlete, and we travelled to games all over the county. I remember, at times, feeling that I had let my teammates down by not performing at my best. Looking back, I was probably the only one who thought that. I was the one putting pressure on myself. I was angry, enraged by the pain and the limitations that pulled me back, slowed me down, and interfered with goals I thought I should have been able to accomplish. After forty years, I believe I am finally able to recognize that I did as well as I could, especially given the circumstances. I truly gave my all.
I continue to fight these chronic conditions and limitations; and although I find myself more tired and frustrated than in my youth, I now have the power of prayer and meditation in my life. I strongly believe that it would be so much easier if I could just “let go’ and let the Lord carry my load; but letting go has never been easy for me. The woman who touched Jesus’ garment may have thought that Jesus wouldn’t notice if she just touched quickly; but Jesus knew right away. How scared she must have been. I would imagine she felt unworthy. Yet, the woman knew in her heart and soul that Jesus could heal her. I can understand and relate to that.
Dear Lord, please help me to rely on You in times of strife. I pray for the strength to “let go.” Amen.