The hem of His garment
There is a story in scripture that came to me in prayer in the thick of my grief after two back-to-back miscarriages. It came from the Gospel of Mark, featuring the hemorrhaging woman in the crowd. The powerful story described that the woman had seen many doctors in her search for an answer or cure but her ailment only grew worse. This had been going on for twelve years. In her desperation, she reached out to Jesus that day in the crowd and said, “If I but touch the hem of His garment, I will be healed.” In the end, Christ felt her reach out and He healed the woman of her affliction.
What admirable faith and courage this woman exhibited. She truly believed Jesus would restore her. She had faith that even after twelve years, this time would be different. And it was. I once had a wise friend tell me that one of her favorite visuals in times of deep suffering was her personified as this woman. However, instead of the hem, she visualized hanging on by a mere thread of His garment. She felt that in some seasons of her life, holding on to that thread was all she had.
There have been so many times in the depths of my grief when I felt as if I, too, was hanging on to that single thread. After my losses, my world came crashing down around me and I was left in the ashes, not knowing where to even start to rebuild. I had no words for God. I had no peace. I questioned and doubted and I was paralyzed in fear of the future. The reality was that I couldn’t just pray away or fix how I was feeling. The only way out was to go through those really hard emotions, while still somehow finding faith and trust in Him. I had to grieve intensely through hard things to find my bearings and stand back up again.
I told God that a little thread was all I had most days. And I hoped it would be enough for Him to know I was still holding on. To my surprise it somehow always was. A little thread of faith was enough to pull me through my most difficult moments. It was enough to give me just the right amount of hope to get me through yet another day. And slowly the light started shining through again. As a result, He molded me in challenging ways. He transformed me and I was forever changed. I realized just how much God can do with so little. Like the women in the crowd, I only had to reach out to the Lord in my desperation. I had to believe that God has the power to heal. I just had to hold on to hope and His hem, trusting that He heals our hearts in whatever way that may look like in His time and in His will.
In what ways are you hanging on by a thread today? How can I pray for you?