Daughter, Take Courage
Scripture - Matthew 9:20-22
"Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed." Jesus turned and saw her. "Daughter, take courage" he said...
The story of this woman is told in 3 of the 4 gospels and in each account, she is not named. She is known only by her issue- that she has been bleeding for 12 years. We see this often in Scripture- stories are told of people known only by their issue- blind man, leper, adulterer, deaf, dumb, possessed. Perhaps you sometimes feel this way- that you are walking through life and are known only by your issue. Something you've done, something that's been done to you. Something that haunts you, separates you.
We learn a bit more about this particular woman in Mark and Luke's version of the story- that she had spent all she had on treatment, but still was unwell. This woman had been suffering for a long time, was labeled by her issue, and was spent. She had nothing left. By all accounts, this woman was exhausted and desperate. Sometimes miraculous things happen when we reach this point in our life, when, out of absolute exhaustion and desperation we lift our heads and gaze at our Creator and cry for help.
How does Jesus respond to her? He says, "Daughter, take courage!" Jesus says to her- give me your fear and I will give you my courage. Take courage. Leave fear behind. But not only that- he gives her a name.
This name gives her value. It gives her dignity. It gives her worth. Matthew, Luke and Mark all referred to this woman as "suffering, spent, scared". We all have these words- words we use to describe ourselves our words we think describe how others view us: scared, anxious, depressed, bitter, sad, broken, single, angry, barren, scarred, not enough, not whole, not beautiful, inadequate, overwhelmed, not good enough, dumb, fearful, weird, different, too much, too little. But in those moments when we are completely spent, exhausted and desperate and just lift our arm to reach for the edge of Jesus' cloak, we will hear a different name, a different voice. We will hear Jesus, and he will call us "daughter". All of the words we feel DESCRIBE us fall away, and we are left with a word that DEFINES us. This woman was not her issue- you are not your issue. You are a person with a soul and identity- a daughter of God. Take heart, take courage.
"Father, today I give over to you all of the ways I feel I am not enough (name them!). I bring to you all of my issues- big and small- and place them on your alter. Today, Father, I am reaching to touch the edge of your cloak. Help me to hear your words to this woman in my own heart, help me to know deep in my heart that I am your daughter. I believe in you, I believe you are my Father and that you created me and know me. Help me today to live as a joy-filled, healed, and renewed daughter."
We know being a Christian woman today can be difficult. We are here for you! If you'd like to stay connected with us and receive an occasional encouraging note from Molly and Mary Rose (our founders!), click here.