As I continued to search and wrestle with these insecurities I found encouragement from two women in the Bible who were seen as "unworthy"--but Jesus healed them, and saved them, and they were used for the Kingdom. Mary Magdalene was the first one I read about (Luke ch. 7). She was the "neighborhood whore"... everyone looked down on her. She was a sinner. And when she fell at the feet of Jesus in tears, kissing his feet and anointing him with oil, Jesus said, "she's forgiven--for she loves much." Even when Simon said, "if this guy was a prophet he would know what kind of woman she is--surely he wouldn't let her touch him." But Jesus saw the brokenness in this woman, he saw that she knew he could save her, and he said to her, "your faith has saved you."
Then I read the story of the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. This woman who was seen as unclean by everyone... who felt so unworthy of even showing her face in public. But she heard that Jesus was coming, and she knew that if she could do so little as touch him, she would be healed. As Jesus is walking down the street he stops and says, "who touched me? I felt power go out from me." And this woman, ashamed, falls to her knees in front of him and tells him of her troubles and that she just knew that if she could only touch the hem of his garment, she would be healed. In the same way that Jesus spoke to Mary, he said to this woman, "daughter, your faith has made you well. go in peace."
After reading these two stories, something that I hadn't ever given much thought to in reading them before caught my attention. The way they end. Jesus says to both of them, "your faith has made you well." We're given this grace, and we know that, but do we have a FAITH that heals us? As much as I read it, and "think it", do I really BELIEVE that my faith is a healing faith? That if I would just believe that my God is so much bigger than me or my issues, I can be delivered from them.
My friends, this is the beautiful thing about our struggles and our sin. It humbles us and brings us to the feet of our sweet Jesus, who can heal us with a single touch. Because if we were perfect, we would be God. I will continue to struggle with my sin, feeling unworthy of serving such a powerful God. I'll continue to search for a faith that heals me... because I don't know if I'm there yet. But I know that daily I will fall to my knees before the God that saves me, despite my flaws, because he loves me that much. What a humbling thought.
Nicole C. Mullen goes to my home church in Franklin, TN, and I remember her singing this song one Sunday morning, and it left me in tears. It's such a powerful testament of Jesus' healing power and love for us. It's been one that I've clung to over these last few weeks, trying to remind myself that I am forgiven.