July 11, 2017
The Power of Touch
When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. – Mark 5:27-28
Recently I was reading the book Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, by Phillip Yancey and Paul Brand. It has some interesting things to say about touch. Apparently, the word touch has such a plethora of meanings that in many dictionaries, including the Oxford English, its definition has the longest entry. The authors point out that there is hardly any human activity that does not rely vitally on touch, whether sports, music, art, mechanics, etc. Touch is the most alert of our senses while we sleep, and it is the one that incites the greatest emotional reaction. Consider, for example, a mother’s caress to a frightened child or the consoling embrace of a loved one.
As a teacher, I once did a class activity to illustrate the power of touch. I asked one student to come to the front of the class and stand totally still. Several times I told her I was not going to touch her, and then I put my hand about an inch from her face and waited. She lasted about ten seconds before she moved away. I asked her, “What did you feel?” and she said, “I was afraid.” When I asked why, she said, “I don’t know.” We learned that even the possibility of touch is a powerful thing.
It is a powerful thing when we touch the Lord. His touch can heal the body, mind, heart, and soul. However, sometimes we may react like that girl in my class—when we start to get close to God, we become afraid. We might start to question, Can I really let God get this close?
Today’s focus verse speaks of a woman who had an illness which had afflicted her for twelve years. She knew if she could only touch Jesus she would be whole, and she determined to do just that. This woman probably had fears about what people would think or how a healing would actually happen, but she got past her fears. Her needs were more important, so whatever the cost, she decided that somehow she had to get closer to Jesus. When she pushed through the crowd, she was not disappointed! Jesus said to her, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague” (Mark 5:34).
The devil will try to put all kinds of fears in our hearts about getting close to God. The woman in our focus verse went through that, but she pushed through the crowd. She reached out to touch God, and He was there because He wanted to be touched! He does not want to be far away; He is trying to come near to us, and He wants us to come near to Him. When we both do that, an amazing thing will happen: we will touch! It will not be something scary, but rather a loving embrace. It will bring wholeness if we will only open our hearts to Him.