Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.
– Jeremiah 17:14
In Mark chapter 5, Jesus is surrounded by a mob of people. In the midst of the crowd is a woman “who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years” (verse 25). She had tried just about everything and everyone.
In Mark 5:26 we see “She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.”
In her ailment, she had looked for healing everywhere that she could think of. She had spent all of her money and yet, ironically, she had suffered more and actually gotten worse.
Have you ever felt this way? The more you sought help and freedom from overweight and overeating, the more diets you experienced, and the more you knew, maybe even the more doctors you went to about this, the more found yourself actually in bondage to food, the thoughts of food, the lust for food and the inhaling of food when you weren’t hungry?
I have. After a year in the 1990s with a popular weight loss program, losing 100 pounds with a very strict diet and obsessive exercise, training for three marathons, studying to become a certified personal exercise trainer, I found myself with a worsened “heart condition.” Like the bleeding woman, I had looked to anyone and everything for healing *other* than the One who could truly offer it. My heart was attached to—obsessed with—food.
The incredible thing is, God can take these “failures” and our desperation and actually use it all. This bleeding woman had become so convinced that the only source for healing left for her was Jesus, that she knew that if she just *touched* his clothing, she could be healed! Now that is faith! Jesus sought her out. He wanted to see this woman face to face—not because he didn’t know who she was. He knew. He was God, after all. But he wanted to speak to her personally. In Mark 5:34, we are told what he says to this woman after she was healed: “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
What marvelous words. These words He longs to speak to us! This very healing he longs to impart to us. Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! – Isaiah 30:18
But who are we looking to for our healing from this tendency to eat more than we need to sustain our bodies? Are we looking to Him? Truly? Are we seeking His healing? Or are we seeking the healing through any number of other methods? Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. – Ps. 107:19-20
If He heals us, it isn’t at the expense of our souls. When the Lord saves us, we truly are saved. Let us turn to Him, focus on Him, praise Him with our lives. In that place we, too, will experience the rush of power into our lives that sets us free from our suffering!
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. – Hebrews 12:2
Lord, I choose to come to you today for the healing I need. I need to be healed of my tendency to turn to food to process my emotions. Conversely, I know sometimes I replace overeating with restricting and I turn to dieting to “save” me—as a functional Messiah of sorts. I choose to reject this tendency, Lord. Instead of either unhealthy approach, I want to view food as fuel and be set free from extra weight and over-eating. I want to be set free from needless restricting. I know you alone can work these changes in me. I come to you, Jesus. Amen.