Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.~Helen Keller
When I was 26 years old, I reunited with my biological father I had not seen since I was two years old. Ten years after our reunion, he was found dead, alone in a hotel room with cocaine strewn everywhere.
Losing my father was the culmination of years of pain. Suffering had been a steady theme throughout my life. My biological father was an alcoholic, a drug user, a cheater, and an abuser. Consequentially, my parents divorced before I was two years old. Growing up, I lived with a considerable amount of family dysfunction. By the time I reached high school, I numbed the pain by drinking alcohol, smoking, using drugs, and practicing eating disorders. When I turned 18, my mother kicked me out of my childhood home. I had no car, no career, and no direction for a good future. For five years, I struggled to survive. There were days I didn’t know what I was going to eat, nights I didn’t know where I was going to sleep, and a time I wanted to take my own life.
After the loss of my father, I experienced a spiritual shift. The first step was to acknowledge I needed more of Jesus in my life. After years of therapy, counseling, inner healing prayer, coaching, conversations with trusted friends, listening to sermons, and reading books, I stepped into the freedom I never knew existed. This transformation began during a period of my life where I was fostering my deepest pain. It took courage for me to reach out to Jesus to provide help, but I did it. His grace was deep, and He continues to heal me today. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t acknowledge Jesus Christ is the One who sees me through.
In Mark 5: 25-34, we read about a woman who experienced many years of pain, as I also had experienced. This is a story I deeply relate to, and maybe you can too. The woman suffered horribly from bleeding for twelve plus years. She spent all she had on treatments, but instead of getting better, she progressively got worse:
Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”~Mark 5:25-27 NKJV
When she heard about Jesus’ healing power, she sought Him out. She reached out to Him in faith despite the crowds that nearly trampled her. When Jesus felt her touch His hem, which is representative of belief in the Word of God, He stopped, found the one who had touched Him, and acknowledged that her faith had caused healing to flow from Him.
After her encounter with Jesus, the suffering this woman had endured ended. She lived the rest of her life in the peace and freedom He provided. Jesus’s response to the woman with the issue of blood was to answer her need for healing, and to set her free. Her dependence on Him provided these benefits. His decision was instantaneous, compassionate, and lifted her from a place of severe pain, both emotionally and physically, to a place where she could live a transformed life. When He saw she was willing to exercise faith in Him despite the circumstances she had been dealt with, He became an advocate for change. Jesus was my advocate too, and I praise Him for this. He is positioned to be your advocate too.
Psalm 118:5 is a verse I have held onto for years because it addresses His goal for us when we encounter suffering:
Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.~Psalm 118:5 ESV
Friend, is there anything in your life that causes you distress, that you need Jesus’s healing touch to overcome? If so, I challenge you to acknowledge your need of Him. Reach out to the Lord in faith, and let Him transform your life. He delights in helping His own and He wants us to depend on Him. One touch from the Master can set you free. He rescued the woman with the issue of blood, and He rescued me too. My Lord is more than willing to do the same for you.
Will you ask Jesus to help you make the spiritual shift from distress to dependency upon Jesus Christ?
Lord Jesus, it has taken courage for me to endure suffering. It has taken even more courage to admit I need Your help to overcome it. I reach out to You in faith, and receive the healing, peace, and freedom You desire me to walk in. I trust You to work in my situation, and to carry me through.
Copyright 2021: A Shift to Freedom: Brandie J. Muncaster: All Rights Reserved