I’ve been thinking about creativity this morning. About how to trigger the artist inside me to write compelling projects which will interest my readers. As I muddle about with the many projects in my queue, I focus more on my struggle to write clearly and less about what I can offer my readers.
In this moment of clarity, I began to feel a bit frustrated with the wall I hit. Then during my morning devotional, I read the story of a notable woman in the scriptures.
A Woman with an Issue
In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the gospel recounts the story of a woman struggling with a crippling medical condition. She was constantly bleeding. Modern-day physicians believe she suffered from menorrhagia (constant menstruation), others believe it was bleeding hemorrhoids. Whatever she had, it was debilitating and had drained all her financial resources. You could say she was at the end of her rope.
Do you find yourself in a situation where you can relate to this woman’s plight? When all things seem to be going against you. You’ve sought outside help only to be taken in directions which keeps draining your energy, and offers no solution. Then, you find yourself at the end of your rope.
Understand, I’m not trying to marginalize what this woman of faith was facing or to compare my search for creative stimulation with her health concern. But what I am saying is I can learn a lot from her story.
Once she spent all her money on doctors and didn’t get better, she created her own theology of faith. She began to convince herself if she could only touch the hem of his clothing, the biggest problem she was confronting would be addressed.
Now you may think it was easy for her to just reach out and touch Jesus, but it was not. The crowd was immense, and she was sick. There was a pressing crowd she had to fight through. I’m sensing in my imagination there was a struggle for her to get to Him, a lot of pushing and determination. And when she finally touched Him, she found virtue and benefit.
Now, what’s my lesson? Simple. I have the power just like this woman to create my own solution through faith. Pay attention to her plan as it played out in her mind:
She thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Matthew 9:21 (NLT)
Now, this is the astonishing point I’m getting from this event. She did not rely on a Sunday School lesson or a great sermon she once heard. She did not remember a bible study or a seminary class. No, she just saw a man whom she heard could heal, and created a practice of faith in her mind, and obeyed it. And here’s the best part of the story – God honored it!
If I Can Just
Okay, I’m not diminishing the importance of bible studies or sermons, but living the Christian life is more than these things. It’s the ability to apply your faith even when scriptural knowledge may fail you.
Now here’s the beauty of the story. Beyond my understanding of scripture – I have the same power as this woman if I can exert the same type of faith! My issue is different from hers. I’m struggling with artistic creativity each day. I’m also trying to finish a book. Okay, you may suggest some meditation or online seminars. Been there, done that. And just like with the physicians in this story, I found little results. Now what? I’ll tell ya – I need to find my “if I can just . . .” and obey it.
The tragedy of my story is, I know what it is. If I can just start each day striving to touch Jesus and His virtue, I won’t need help on where to go from there. This is not to say I can’t benefit from outside sources. I can. But this woman teaches me to look to Jesus first, and let Him direct me every day. When I don’t, I find myself venturing off into areas where there’s nothing for me.
The practice of touching garments did not stop with this woman. Later in the book of Mark, an entire village, hearing the story about her, brought their sick to have them touch Jesus’ cloak. This practice continued throughout Judea, from village to village with the same success.
Today, Jesus does not walk the earth where we can just find His physical location and touch His clothing. But He is accessible. And when I need a boost of inspiration, a marketing plan which works, or some help with a health concern, He’s available, if I can just . . .