Who Touched Me?


The eager crowd pressed against him. Hands reached out, voices called, beggars pleaded. Everyone wanted a miracle.


Suddenly he froze and the clamor quieted. His expression changed and he looked over his shoulder. "Who touched me?"


Snickers rippled through the throng. Touched him? Everyone is touching him. We're pressed together like a sandwich. What's he mean?


"Sir? It was me." A gnarled woman dressed in rags bowed before him. "I-I'm sorry, but you see I've had this awful bleeding for eighteen years and it's destroying me. My money's gone, my family, my health...I thought...well, I thought if only I could touch the hem of your robe I would be healed and...and...something's happening!"
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The old woman gasped and straightened.
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"Yes, you've been healed," he replied softly. "Go and enjoy your life."
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Have you ever wondered what he meant? Why was one woman's touch so much different from all the other hands that grabbed at him? After all, he'd been healing people right and left for months. Touching the crippled, the blind, the lepers...
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But this one touched him.
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Mark 5 tells us that Jesus "felt the power drain out of him." Her touch depleted something in him and he felt it.
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This woman's healing cost Jesus something. She received the power of God at Christ's expense. He didn't begrudge her that. He knew where to get more power. That's why he spent so much time alone with his Father. His Source.
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Last night, I learned in a personal way what he meant. As I lay flat on my back, drained from the last two days of counseling, I felt like an empty sock. It was more than tired. Tired is spending all day at the zoo with a toddler and a crying baby. It was more than mental exhaustion, the way you feel after doing your taxes. It was a hollowness, a draining of spirit that reverberated through my being like shouts echoing through a canyon. The power had "drained out of me."
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As I tried to identify the feeling, Mark 5 came to mind and I finally understood it.
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Within the past 48 hours, I had been the instrument God used to transfer His healing to 7 broken people. Seven different cases, different issues, different needs. But all received His healing, coming alive again when they had believed hope was gone. Each one had touched me uniquely. Their pain, their past, their sorrows became mine as God's wholeness became theirs in a Divine Exchange.
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Jesus understood this exchange better than anyone else. He let himself be touched by this wasted woman, knowing that it would cost him something. And it costs us to be used as God's tools to heal others. It's a power we do not have in ourselves and it runs out quickly if we don't stay replenished.
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One aspect of being God's vessel of healing is that we must be willing to allow the sick to touch us, to drain us until we feel like an empty sock.
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We hear a lot today about "burnout." Why didn't Jesus burn out? That's what happens when you feel the power drain out of you. If you stay depleted, you burn out.
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We must learn how to stay continually plugged into the source of strength and power. We must be continually replenished, filled to overflowing with God's love, wisdom, truth, and power or we have nothing to offer anyone else. The time Jesus spent alone with his Father was more than a typical "quiet time"-- those twenty minutes of trying not to watch the clock that most Christians call "spending time with God."
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Jesus lived there. Stayed at the feet of his Father. Lived in a different zone than everyone else and most people thought he was nuts. People will think you're a little off your rocker too, when you emulate his lifestyle.
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But that's where the power is. That's where you go to be replenished. You live there. You dwell in the secret place of the Most High. You abide in the shadow of the Almighty. You stay in constant communion with the only One worth expending yourself for.
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And you allow the wasted ones to touch you, grab like drowning swimmers at that power that heals.
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Yes, it drains you. Yes, they take it all, but there's more where that came from.
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Only when you drink daily, hourly, moment-by-moment from that never-ending supply, the way Jesus did, can you allow them to touch you and be healed.
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