Sam Cooke delivers the desperation that we all have known. When you take look at what many prayers have driven us to.
The lyrics were:
And whoa, she spent her money here and there
Until she had no, had no more to spare
The doctors, they’d done all they could
But their medicine would do no good
This particular spiritual is based on the following scripture.
Jesus and his disciples have returned to Galilee from the land of the Garasenes, but as their boat lands on the western shore of the lake, probably at Capernaum, a crowd is waiting. They have seen his boat from afar and have massed on the beach to welcome him.
“40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45 ‘Who touched me?’ Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.’ 46 But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.’ 47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.’ (Luke 8:40-48, NIV)
Even today, with all our medical skill, a hysterectomy is the only treatment that helps many women. But in her day, nothing was really effective.
Have you been sick for an extended period of time? Have you experienced the hopelessness of having physicians do all sorts of tests, put you through all sorts of treatments, charge huge medical bills, and leave you worse for all their doings? Occasionally, this lady’s friends would tell her of some doctor they had heard of in another town. When she was younger, she might make the journey to consult with them, but no longer. She is broke and hopeless. Why go to a doctor when nothing helps? Her faith in doctors’ remedies is long since gone. There is no hope for her.
But her problem is compounded by the way she is viewed by Jewish law — as ceremonially unclean. Women were normally considered unclean during their period.
When I think about this story, I am amazed by this woman’s faith. It is a pushy faith. An elbow-my-way and don’t-take-no-for-an-answer faith. It is a faith that doesn’t quit. And I think that Jesus was pleased.In this lesson we’re looking at the story of a determined woman whose pushy faith in Jesus brought her the salvation she sought.
Faith is often expressed in us at that raw, growing edge of life that is acquainted with fear but not overcome by it. Our woman has spent twelve years in sickness, embarrassment, and frustration. But she has pushed through. She has just been powerfully and instantly healed, and she is aware of the healing. The next moment Jesus stops, asks “Who touched me?” and she is trembling again. How true to life.
Dear child of God, Jesus loves you and is fully aware of the vulnerability of your faith. But he is encouraging you to take courage, put your fears aside, and “go for it.” If you falter, he is by your side and he will help you. He is teaching you to trust in him. And he says to you, as he said to the sick woman who pushed through her fears, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go forward in peace.”