Title: RETOUCH GOD
Do you remember when the awesomeness of God first struck you? How long has it been since His absolute power brought those chills down your back? Isn’t it time for that eye-opening discovery to revitalize your relationship with Him once again? I don’t know about you, but I’m past due for that touch…the touch that makes you fall to your knees and weep in gratitude that the God of this universe has visited you and you feel His power surge through you.
It can happen when you actually step into the shoes of those who have been there when they tell their story of that awesome touch of God. Prepare your mind to step back into time and relive their journey. Put yourself in their situation to where their story is your story…their plight is your plight…their awakening is your awakening.
In this story you are one of the disciples in the boat. Do you wonder, like I wonder, what in the world was Peter thinking to ask Jesus to come out on the water with Him? I wonder if he was testing to see how far the power of Jesus could extend. But then, right there in front of your eyes…it happens…Peter…the only other man in history besides Jesus…walks on water. Instantly you wish you would have had the faith to ask Jesus to let you walk on water. But before the request can get out of your mouth, Peter sinks into the sea, and so you keep silent. Jesus rescues him and helps him to the boat.
But then comes the second wave of God’s power…as Jesus steps into the boat, the storm’s wind stops. There is nothing but silence and the moon’s light. You are left in silence to process what has just happened…and you fall to you knees in worship. Worship is the proper response to the awesomeness of God.
But that was Peter. What about you? Are you ready for God to support you above the sea of your troubles? If you are sinking, His outstretched hand is there to pull you up. And when you retouch God, worship takes place…not just in the church…but in your boat, in your home…wherever you are that the awesomeness of God awakens your doubting heart!
Another boat…another storm…but this time the storm is the center of attention. It was evening and they thought they could make a quick sail across the sea and be there in time to find a place to spend the night. Jesus is exhausted, so He lies down at the stern to rest. But a life-threatening storm intensifies to where the boat is filling up with water. Other boats left with them, but now they are no longer in sight. It’s dark and the chances of survival are slim if the boat swamps. The disciples are disturbed by the seeming unconcern of Jesus for their situation.
How about you? Is your life swamping with one heavy burden after another and God seems to be ignoring you? Is their cry, your cry?…“Master, don’t you care that we are perishing?”
The first hope of salvation is one you might pass by at first glance…Jesus is awakened and stirred to action by the cries of His followers. Our fears and burdens may paralyze us and prevent us from taking action, but they don’t bind Jesus. Don’t think He doesn’t care. Don’t think He’s asleep in the middle of your crisis. He’s just waiting for your cry…the cry of faith that dares to believe.
When awakened, Jesus takes away the threat on their life…He calms the storm with the force of His words. But He notices the change of their countenance…it changes from fear to timidity. Why? Because no one they ever knew had such power. The gospel writer makes sure you understand what it felt like for them to realize God was standing in their boat. When the storm raged, they were afraid…when the storm was calmed, they were very much afraid. For them, it was far more frightening to face the holiness of God inside their boat than it was to have a storm outside their boat.
And you…where are you in this story? Are you afraid…or very much afraid? Has your faith been able to change your fear to timidity? Cry out my friend…cry out to God and touch His awesome holiness that makes even the wind and the waves obey Him!
I don’t think it will take much of your imagination to understand the desperation of this woman. I imagine the spirit and self-esteem of this woman to be very low, combined with the abuse of multiple medical treatments that were crude at that day, to say the least. In a society that declared her unclean though this unending siege of blood flow, her isolation left this lonely woman disguising herself and sneaking through the crowd…so she comes up to Jesus from the behind.
She must have heard that Jesus was a man of both power and compassion, so her arm stretches out through the crowd and just touches the hem of His garment. That’s when everything broke loose. Immediately she felt the surge of His power and it radiated through her body and to her womb. The Word says she felt her healing. Can you feel the chills go up her back as she knew she had just touched God…and God was real?!
And then there’s the wonder that Jesus immediately knew there was a demand for his power and virtue. The disciples are amazed that Jesus would even ask who touched Him in such a crowded situation…yet Jesus knew. He turns around. His eyes meet her eyes. Fear races through her adoring heart, trembling because she had just robbed God of His power, so she falls to her knees in confession.
Then there’s the most tender word her ears could have heard…”Daughter!” Not “thief”…not “unclean one”…but a term of endearment…“Daughter!” And with that endearment, a statement of why His power surged to her desperate need…“Your faith has made you well…go in peace.”
And there’s the key to your surge of power from the mighty hand of God…your faith…the faith needed to stretch out your hand that dares to touch God!
Son…daughter…God sees you in the crowd. He’s waiting for your faith-stretched arm that dares once again to RETOUCH GOD…the One who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that you think or ask, according to the power that works within us. To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21)