We often read the Bible with this perception that God only chose people who had it all together and were faultless. The surprising truth though is that couldn't be more wrong. "Spirituality is not a formula: it is not a test. It is a relationship. Spiritutality is not about competency; it is about intimacy. Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection. The way of the spiritual life begins where we are now in the mess of our lives. Accepting the reality of our broken, flaweed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives. Spirituality is not about being fixed; it is about God's being present in the mess of our unfixidness," Mike Yaconelli. Jesus hung out with adulterers, thieves, murderers, prostitutes, people that were utter messes and basket cases. What I mean is this:
Lady A, is in her 50s, grew up in an abusive home physically, emotionally, and sexually. She struggled with countless abusive relationships and 1 failed marriage.
Lady B, in her 20s, grew up with an absent father feeling unloved and struggling with weight issues and a terrible eating disorder.
Lady C, in her 30s, had 1 failed marriage, struggled with her weight, had an abortion and suffered with major depression.
Lady D, in her 20s suffered a sexual assault, an eating disorder, depression and past suicidal thoughts.
Man A, in his 40s, struggled with alcohol and drugs, had 1 failed marriage and felt empty.
Man B, in his 60s, grew up in a difficult home life, his daughter had a baby at 15, his son struggles with persecution and hate because he is homosexual.
Man C, in his 20s, attempted suicide, felt unloved, depressed, used self mutilation as a way to self destruct.
All of these examples are real people, their stories are an amazing example of Gods redemption, healing and freedom. Their stories don't stop there but unfold to some of the most beautiful transformations I have ever heard. In the list includes a well known womens evangelist, one of the most amazing men preachers of our time, a couple pastors, worship leader, moms/dads, church members and servants. Pretty amazing huh??!! God will stop at nothing to reach down in the midst of your mess to bring you to Him. "Faith is born when mans ability fails. Faith starts at the point of human limitation, when our options have run out and all you can do is turn to Him, faith erupts" T.D. Jakes. When you find yourself broken, empty, hurting and out of resources is where faith steps in. If we can use human capability to obtain something then that isnt faith. The stories I shared sound to me to be stories of people at rock bottom, desperate, empty, broken, hurting. It would have been hard for human capability to completely fix what they were going through. But because of the blood of Jesus and because He has promised to set us free from our infirmity and pain the moment we call upon His name the chains will fall off and our lives restored and forever changed.
One of the most amazing stories in the Bible to me is in Mark 5:25-34. We read of a woman who had a bleeding disorder. This bleeding disorder last for 12 years. The story tells us she had been under the care of many doctors and instead of her condition improving it continually grew worse. The woman knew Jesus was going to be passing through town that day and she thought to herself "if I can just touch His clothes I will be healed." She had come to a place of pure desperation, her infirmity had taken every ounce of her strength and resources and she had no sign of hope or a way to be free from this disease. When all options ran out she decided she would go against all odds and and try for one last option. It wasn't heard of for a woman to be heard or given attention during this time in the Bible let alone to present herself before Jesus. As she fought against the crowd and made her way through the hatred and resistance she pushed with every ounce of strength she had left in her sick, drained body. She decided to take a radical approach in order to get the miracle she desperately needed to save her life. She didnt make an appointment with Jesus, she didnt shake His hand or even get to have a conversation with Him. She never got to give Him her health history or let Him examine her but all it took was for her to push through the crowd and sweep her fingers across the dusty hem of His garment and she was healed. The chains of her infirmity instantly fell off and she was restored. Regardless of the pain and damage her body had suffered for 12 years in that moment a miracle was done and Jesus power freed her and rid her body and spirit immediately of the scars from the past.
This story gives me "God bumps" everytime I read it. I imagine the pure exhaustion physically and mentally she must have felt. The hopelessness, fear, and desperation she felt. She was literally in need of a miracle, in need of a hero to meet her in her time of despair and save her. She was at rock bottom and had nothing left in her to fight. All other options had failed, her resources run out and this was it. Does this story sound familiar?? Whether it be relationships, a painful past, an addiction, financial ruin, or whatever do you feel like you have been on this journey for so long that your at rock bottom. You have tried so many different fixes, resources, ways to fill the void and nothing has worked. It doesn't matter how long you have struggled or the size of your struggle like the stories I shared with you God can meet you in the midst of your pain and set you free instantly from your infirmity. God can release the chains that have been shackled to you over and over and are weighing you down. He can free you from ever having to be a prisoner to the pain again. The journey will be difficult, the woman with the issue of bleeding fought against name calling, persecution because she was a woman and considered unclean, threats for her safety but she decided it was worth a shot because she had nothing else left to loose. Her options had run out and she was exhausted, it took a radical choice to decide she wasn't going to give up, there had to be a way.
Whatever you are facing I know God wants to heal you from your infirmity. Seek Him and just sweep your broken, hurting and scarred finger across the dusty hem of His garment and you will be set free.