Have you ever been tested to tears?
Today in Mark 5 we read about 2 individuals who were definitely tested to tears. The first story is of the raising of Jairus’ daughter and the second is the healing of the woman who touched the “hem of Jesus’ garment”. These events show us that Jesus has a tremendous power to heal and even to give life to the dead. They also reveal the important role of faith in giving Jesus the opportunity to work in our lives.
Mark 5:19 says,…“Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.”
This chapter in Mark speaks to my life in so many ways. I have had the opportunity to experience healing and see how faith gave Jesus the opportunity to work in my life. And because of the verse above, I feel led to share with you a small part of the miraculous story God gave me 15 years ago.
It seems that Jesus never answers our prayers in the way we think would be best. He definitely has His ways and they will be revealed to us in His timing. 20 years ago (wow, where has the time gone?? how can it be 20 years already??) I was experiencing some headaches along with a high level of anxiety. I let this go on for a few years before I really went to a Dr to seek treatment. I had been to the ER one time for a full-blown anxiety attack (beacuse I knew deep down that there was something wrong with me-I was pretty sure I had a brain tumor). But, the Dr assured my husband that I was just having a small nervous break down and if I took some meds for it I would be fine. I struggled through the next 3 years trying to find a balance with my anxiety on my own. I read everything I could to help me alleviate the symptoms. At this time, I had a 1 year old daughter and a 3 year old son. Life was busy with the two littles and I chalked the anxiety up to just trying to survive the day to day life. I remember seeing a commercial about struggling with anxiety and that there was a new medication that could help. My close friends and I chatted about this and I realized that ALL of us were struggling with the same anxious feelings. And, some of them were already taking these anti-anxiety meds. I finally gave in and called the Dr. She wanted to do a quick MRI before chalking it up to anxiety.
Low and behold, within an hour and a half after that MRI, my gut instincts from 3 years ago became reality. The Dr called and told me very bluntly…”You Have A Brain Tumor”.
Here begins the journey that tested me to tears! This brain tumor gave God the opportunity to be MY ALL and ALL. When you have a brain tumor you are pretty much at the mercy of the Dr’s. There is nothing I could do on my own to make it better.
Within 24 hours of that dreaded phone call, the ladies of my small group gathered together. We just sat and went through Bible verses about God’s faithfulness and hope. I cannot tell you the Life-Giving words that I left my friend’s house with that day. God showed up! I left with PEACE BEYOND UNDERSTANDING that day, and that PEACE stayed with me throughout the whole brain tumor journey of the next 9 months.
I somewhat feel I can relate to Jairus and the woman in Mark 5 in that they were at the end of their rope. Jairus had a daughter on her death bed and the woman had been hemorrhaging for 12 years! They were both fully aware of their needs and were desperate. But, they both fully believed that Jesus could bring healing.
But, neither Jairus nor the woman got exactly what they wanted.
Jairus knew that Jesus could heal his daughter, but Jesus did not act as fast as he had wanted him to and he received word that his daughter had died in the waiting. His friends tried to tell him to give up on Jesus, his daughter was already dead. But Jesus tells Jairus in verse 36, “Do not fear, only believe.” To Jairus’ credit he did just that and he and Jesus walked the rest of the way to his house. When they arrived Jesus gave the young girl life again.
The woman believed that Jesus could heal her if she could only touch him and then quietly slip away, she did not want to make a scene. As soon as she touched him, Jesus stopped and wanted to know Who touched Him. The woman then had to step forward and acknowledge that it was she who touched him. She could not blend away in the crowd without first sharing her entire story with Jesus and to the whole crowd.
My story is right in line with these two from the Bible. My journey did not go exactly how I wanted it to. God had bigger plans and a purpose through my suffering. From the moment I felt the peace of God wash through me, I knew He was going to take care of me. It was in His hands. Little did I know that when I went in for my first exploratory surgery I would find out I was pregnant. What?!?!?! How could I be pregnant? I had a brain tumor! Only God.
You guys, there are far too many miracles and answers to prayers during my 9 month journey of brain tumor and baby to name them all. But, the biggest miracle was that on February 13, 2001, the Neurosurgeon removed a tumor the size of a lemon from my cerebellum while I was 13 weeks pregnant. The tumor was benign and the baby in my belly was still alive. Yes, I will omit the struggles and day to day challenges of having a 12 inch incision in the back of my head, not being able to take certain medications because of being pregnant, and taking care of my 2 littles once I got home. Only God provided for EVERY need through this entire journey! I thankfully kept a journal and have documented every answered prayer that took place. And then, on August 5, 2002 our surprise miracle baby was born healthy as can be!
Jesus knew how the events of Jairus, the woman, and myself would transpire and unfold. Jesus was in control of each situation. None of us knew how things would turn out.
God does not answer our prayers in the way we think would be best. God acts in accordance with His will, not with our wishes and desires. However, just like in these stories, we find that when God does act, it is usually much more powerful and beautiful than what we had imagined it would be.
When you are tested to tears remember that God’s timing is best and He will be glorified. And remember, that Mark 5:19 tells us to …TELL WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE FOR US!!
To God be the glory in each of our lives and the stories He tells through us of his Love and Faithfulness!!!