Issues of Life
How do you address the issues you have in your life? What do you do to see resolution or obtain some relief? Here’s the answer but first we must understand what an issue is:
“Issue” is defined as a subject of concern, main subject, legal matter in dispute, official release of something, problem or difficulty, or source of flow. There are some other variations of these but the essence of the word issue can be boiled down to two main ideas; 1) words and 2) a source of flow. Understanding this is paramount in actually resolving issues.
If you understand someone’s words and you understand the source from which they come (in other words the reasons they have chosen those particular words and/or moments to share them) then you are at a great advantage to help resolve the issue.
I want to give you a short example directly from the pages of a manuscript that is nearly 2000 years old. And hence it has stood the test of time as to its importance. This story is found three times within the Gospels of the Bible:
20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, 44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. 45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. 48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, 27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. 28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. 29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? 31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. 34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
You will notice that the stories align very well to each other but with each one we’re give some insights that help us understand the situation in a little better detail.
Matthew’s account is short, sweet and to the point. Most likely this is because the situation is something that he wasn’t as observant about as he could have been. We can excuse him since only 11 versus previously he was just called to follow Jesus and therefore he is excited and perhaps bewildered as to what is going on in other words his head is spinning and we should be happy he captured what he did.
Mark and Luke's accounts are second hand accounts told to them by the apostles and therefore capture a little more detail as to what happened.
What we learn is that this is a certain woman who is diseased (dis–eased or not at ease), who suffered an issue of blood for twelve straight years. She spent her time, energy and resources to try to find a cure or at least some relief, but these efforts only left her in a worse situation than when she began. Then she heard about Jesus and not only that but learned that he was in her area so she had a great idea. Even though she knew that he was regularly surrounded by crowds she thought she could muster enough strength to force her way close enough to just touch his robe and most likely just even brush a fingertip against his hem and she knew that it would work to make her better.
She was able to accomplish this amazing feat and sure enough she felt within herself without any exterior proof at that moment that she had been healed (she had regained instantly her sense of ease). Jesus senses at that very moment something important had happened because virtue had gone out from him and if it had gone out it must have gone in somewhere else. She admits her actions and Jesus confirms her healing.
This short story occurs in as an interruption in Jesus’ schedule. It wasn’t on the agenda for his day and it wasn’t a focus of what his mission was for that hour. However, we learn that his resolving the issue was paramount for a believer.
You see we are given another clue in scripture when in Leviticus 17:11 we are told “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” The significance here is that blood is connected to life. We could sum it up this way: life is in the blood.
Therefore when we read previously that the certain woman had an issue of blood, we could switch it up and say she had an issue of life. And who of us can’t relate to that?
We all have issues in our lives to deal with, some physical, some emotional, even mental, relational or spiritual. We all have our struggles or issues that drain us. We have tried everything to resolve, address, fix or heal them but to no avail. They still exist and in fact at times they even seem like they have gotten worse through our efforts.
What are we to do? We are to be like that “certain woman”. Notice we are not given her name on purpose and not told what kind of woman she is only that she is “certain”. This is because if we knew then we couldn’t substitute ourselves into the story and take her place. We would say well my name isn’t so and so or I’m not from that country or region, so I can’t be healed like she was. Instead because she remains nameless for our sake, we can easily interject ourselves into her place and be as certain as she was.
What was she certain of? That she was sick and tired of being sick and tired and she was going to do something about it! She had heard of others being healed and transformed by this man Jesus who was now going to be in her vicinity and so she was going to capitalize on it and reach out to touch him.
That’s how simple it is! When you know something works for others, then you’re willing to try it too. Jesus for centuries now has continued to heal and restore those who believe in him just like he did for this certain woman. Aren’t you willing to reach out and touch him as well?
You might think it’s an imposition, something that’s not on his calendar; after all he’s God and has so much to deal with, or that there so much more on his agenda. However, just like he stopped everything for this woman to confirm and assure her, he will pause, focus on you when you reach out and reassure you that indeed you can obtain what you need.
Trust Jesus today with the issues of your life!