Leaking life…every day for twelve years.
That’s what was happening to a woman who snuck up on Jesus in a last-ditch attempt to get well. (Luke 8:43-48)
You see, she’d had a menstrual hemorrhage for twelve years. Since, as Scripture says, “Life is in the blood”…she was literally discharging life.
What’s worse, she had spent her life-savings on everything from specialists to quacks. None of their therapies worked.
Twelve trickling years had left her:
- Weak: tired and anemic, she had no energy to live; no joie de vivre
- Depressed: emotionally hopeless, she couldn’t figure out what to do next
- Estranged: relationally isolated, she lived as an outcast from all she knew
- Broke: financially tapped, she existed on poverty’s raw edge
She was slowly but surely wearing out and breaking down.
As my wife and I have been caretakers to her 98-year-old mother in her final weeks, the stress of that daily care has worn on us. While overjoyed with the honor of attending this remarkable woman, honesty demands we admit the weariness setting in from the daily demands that take their toll on us.
Sometimes we feel we are leaking life too. And in this season I am discovering:
Our most crucial moments are not those that threaten to wreck our lives but those that are trying to rob our living.
That’s what happens when you live for extended times under the:
- Stress of sameness–the grinding demands that are always in your face
- Burden of boredom–the mundane repetition that never seems to end
- Pressure of performance–the unwritten expectations that are felt more than real
- Ruts of routine–the banal tasks that are ever-present and never finished
These things are slow-drip punctures that cause you to leak the life-forces of destiny, meaning and purpose.
I have found myself tempted to cope in ways that take my mind off, but don’t fill my heart for, the struggle.
- Deaden by distraction–get numb by entertainment
- Comfort by consumption–get lost in something new
- Mask by movement–get busy with any activity
- Relief by resignation–get through by giving up
The alternative to these mind-numbing, soul-deadening, purpose-sapping substitutions is to seek meaning in the mundane; to mine for gems in the muck and mud of the waiting.
The difference between endurance and perseverance is what you get out of what you go through.
When you simply endure, you passively survive the hard times and come out on the other side glad its over. But when you choose to persevere, you passionately strain out of the bad experience real meaning that develops character, shapes destiny and forges significance.
You come out on the other side having plundered riches from that which had been perpetually sapping your life.
Luke’s leaking lady was so determined to staunch the flow that she elbowed her way through a throng to get near Jesus. Then she took the greatest risk a bleeding woman could in that day–she touched Him.
Instantly, she stopped leaking.
Jesus stood still, looked around and asked “who touched me?” This was no ordinary “touch” he was talking about. The word means “glued or adhered to”. There is a hint of desperation and determination in Jesus choice of word.
He knew somebody had reached out with all they were to tap into all He was.
And it worked. “Power has gone out of me”, He said. Somebody latched on to who I truly am and is imbibing that source of life.
The woman reluctantly knelt at the hem she had touched and poured out her story to the one who had saved her. Jesus made it clear in His loving words that because of her faith ALL her brokenness was healed:
“Daughter”–no longer rejected, abandoned and ostracized
“Be of good comfort”–no longer helpless or hopeless, she was en-couraged
“Faith has made you whole”–rescued, healed, fixed…forever
“Go in peace”–no more frantic search for the answer she now possessed
When you find yourself oozing the stuff that makes your life full and real, it is time for desperate action (faith).
Gather up the energy you have left, push through the obstacles, shake off the expectations of others and get close enough to Jesus to touch him.
One touch makes all the difference.
He patches the leaks, stops the draining influences, and pours life that doesn’t fade into our seeping souls. He empowers us to stand up, speak up and look up.
We stop leaking life and start living it.