These stories of courage and faith have been given to us as examples. We, too, can persevere, overcome, and hold onto our faith even in the most trying of days.
The week opened up with “The Bleeding Woman” from Mark 5: 25-34. This story gets me every time as what woman has not dreaded her cycle every month. It always seem to come at the most inopportune time.
This poor woman was unseen, unwanted, and untouched. For twelve lonely and painful years.
The following statements from the devotional (Women of Courage) struck my heart were:
- “The beauty of the bleeding woman’s story is that it illustrates how ready Jesus is to heal us.”
- “He simply wants us to reach out to Him in hope.”
- “Our faith in His ability to step in activates a loving response from Him every time.”
- “He will not ignore us. He will not leave us bleeding.”
It’s the last sentence which so got me – He will not leave us bleeding.
This story is not just for women. Perhaps you are suffering for a long time with an affliction, or in a situation, that leaves you isolated. What does the story of the bleeding woman speak to your heart today?
Hear those words – Reach out to Him. He will not leave you bleeding.
Mid week found us spending time with “The Shunammite Woman” in 2 Kings 4: 8-17.
She was prominent, probably wealthy, and had no children. But her heart was full of hospitality which she extended to the prophet, Elisha.
She and her husband took the time and effort to prepare the room for Elisha. It must have been quite a nice room as Elisha noticed that she went to much trouble for him.
The book went in a different direction with its thoughts on hospitality. Extending hospitality towards people is much more noticeable to those around us than offering hospitality to God.
The book asks: Are we willing to make room for the Lord? Do we invite Him “in here,” offering Him a place in our hearts and home? Do we believe He has something to teach us, right here and right now, while He goes about His work in the world?
The questions brought back memories of a song I sung as a child:
“Into my heart,
Into my heart.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
Come in today,
Come in to stay,
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.”
What do you need to do, or change, to make room for Him today?
We closed the week reading about Rebekah in Genesis 24: 12-27. Often we complain about offering hospitality to people, while Rebekah offers to go that extra miles and draw water for camels!
Seriously, that brought conviction to my soul!
Those “nudges” from God sure can be weird. The book asks: Do you ever get “weird” ideas that pop our of nowhere? A nudge to offer help, or share an encouraging word? What if they’re prompts from God preparing you to meet someone’s need? What if, by obeying God and offering kindness, you are in turn as blessed as the one you bless?
The book share this insight on Rebekah’s actions:
“… it was yet another way God was preserving the line of Christ unbeknownst to the people involved. Sometimes what seem like the smallest acts of hospitality are incredible gifts to those who receive them, and even impact the course of salvation history.”
(Women of Courage, page 135)
Prayer: Lord, help us to pay attention to Your nudges. Help us not to ignore them or put them off. Move us to take action when You tell us to do so. Amen.
Reach out to Him.
Invite Him in.
Follow His nudges.