The Woman with the issue….
Today I had the loveliest one hour and fifty-three minute conversation with one of my oldest and dearest friends. We always pick up where we left off. The fact that I don’t know how she takes her coffee at this season of life, nor does she of me doesn’t effect our 20+ year friendship.
We were talking about life and all that goes with it. I was sharing about a situation with a friend and I always feel drained after talking to her.
Here’s where my word of the year, Perspective, comes knocking once again.
She shared with me the story of the woman with the issue of blood in the Bible. The one Jesus healed? Do you remember it? Here, I’ll share it.
Luke 8 (AMP)
43 And a woman who had [suffered from] a hemorrhage for twelve years[and had spent all her money on physicians], and could not be healed by anyone, 44 came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His outer robe, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45 Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” While they all were denying it, Peter [and those who were with him] said, “Master, the people are crowding and pushing against You!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, because I was aware that power [to heal] had gone out of Me.” 47 When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came up trembling and fell down before Him. She declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith [your personal trust and confidence in Me] has made you well. Go in peace (untroubled, undisturbed well-being).”
In red, I highlighted the verse that she pointed out to me. Jesus felt the power go out of Him to heal.
My dear friend pointed this out to me. Oh it made me think, how many times had a friend spoken words to me from her heart, and I spoke words back from scripture. Sometimes on repeat to each and every woe and left feeling drained, but her encouraged? How many times have I felt weary after such discussions and processed through and thought I needed to pull away.
My response has been so wrong.
Here I am, praying that God would use me, show me His plan. And I’m sitting in the middle of it.
Here’s the thing though, we want God to use us. To pour out of us all the spiritual knowledge we have sat under and soaked in. Then He does it.
But what happens to us? We feel tired. We feel empty. We feel lonely.
What’s your first response? Here’s mine…..Oh, here’s where I get real spiritual on you.
I back away. How dare I spend time with someone who is “tearing me down”. Seriously? I’m literally hitting myself over the head verbally here.
How in the world are we to be Jesus’ hand and feet if we can’t be with anyone “less spiritual” than we seem to think we are? To sit over lunch with a person who just needs a friend? A motherly heart? Some compassion? Some encouragement?
Yeah sure they may say some really “unspiritual” things. But, hello, that’s why He sent you. The one who has said, “Lord, I just want to be used to reach someone for you!” on their prayer square in their closet. (Remember, this is me were are talking about. Not you.)
How have I not noticed that this is the time I am to draw back away with my Saviour?
How silly of me? I actually am sitting here typing this for you shaking my head at my stupidity. I generally try and not use that word, but this situation of me kicking myself in the behind has me using it as the only descriptor I can find to hit myself over the head with.
Jesus performed miracles. He healed the sick, He feed the 5,000 and all their hangry children and wives too!
Then He went away to pray. On a boat. And then a storm came and He had to rescue Peter. But He still did didn’t he?
No matter how many times those disciples did something stupid. No matter how many people came to Him for healing and encouragement, He still had compassion and took time to minister to them.
But then He went away with God.
So….what am I doing frustrated at a friend who drains me? Isn’t that the cry I’ve made to the Lord?
“Use me Jesus!”
God: “Ok, go sit over coffee and listen to this woman’s heart. Pray with her. Be there for her. Serve her.”
“Wait what?” I say.
“What’s in this for me?”
God: “You wanted to be used right?”
Me: Still silence. Because there are no words.
Me: “Ok, yes.”
God: “Come away with me. Be with me. Then go back. Do this on repeat every time you spend time with this friend. You need to feel what she feels because I need you to translate what’s in the depth of your soul; the hope you have in Me.”
So being used isn’t that simple? It’s hard work. It’s draining. It’s a lifeline to someone else. But it’s also a vital life line for you too. It’s the way that He knows He can get you back to Him. To His presence. He trusts one of His daughter’s hearts to you. And He wants you both seeking Him.
And you must fill yourself back up. Sometimes overfill just to recover from some of the hard conversations or situations you may be in. But God has hand picked you to hear their story. To share in their pain. To have the heart full of compassion, that we asked for, to BE His hands and feet.
It’s not just a song everyone who is over 30 sang 100 million times on their summer camp trips and mission trips. It’s an actual lifestyle.
Jesus got that. He so desperately needs people to mentor other people. He so desperately needs hands and feet on the ground to get His message out there.
He knows you are spiritually mature enough to handle their story and to bring it back to the cross. Jesus came so that we may have life. He loves you so much that He will forgive all your sins and let you be born again. His mercies are new every morning the bible says in Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV).
Go for coffee. Hear their story. Come boldly with God’s promises. Pray and send them on their way. But then come away with your Father. Bring your heart too back to Him for Him to refresh your soul.
Oh wait….we were talking about me, right? I pray I am not the only one who’s been here, otherwise I will feel really ridiculous. 🙂
And when you find a friend who sticks closer than a sister, hold on to them for dear life. 20 years. We blinked and we have babies and husbands. I am so grateful, M. You are so dear to my heart. Thank you for today.