The Shalom of God

He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” –Mark 5:34

Could you even imagine it?

Twelve years.

For twelve years, this woman had been in a constant state of suffering. For twelve years, she had been suffering not only physically from her issue of blood, but also financially and socially. Her relationship with others, even her relationship with God, was defined by her physical ailment. She could not come into contact with those around her for fear of their ritual purity. She was unable to go to the Temple in order to connect with her God. Alone. Afraid. Broken.

Twelve years.

Then one day she hears about Jesus. “Could he be the one? Could he really be who people whisper him to be? If only I could get close enough to touch the fringe of his garment and I’ll be healed,” as the tradition says.

Pushing her way through the crowd, she saw him. As she drew near to the man she had heard people speak of, she saw the fringe of his robe. Reaching out, fear mixed with faith, she felt the knots of his fringe between her fingers. “God, you’ve been faithful. I need you now.”

Immediately… she was healed. Physically, healed. Emotionally, healed. Socially, healed. Everything made new again through the touch.

Now the fascinating thing about this story is Jesus’ response. Apparently, Jesus was not intentionally involved in this miraculous scene, as He was as unaware of the event as those around him. “Who touched my clothes?” Knowing that something extraordinary occurred, He questions to find the person who initiated the event. “Someone here has faith. Someone here believes who I am.”

The woman, realizing what had happened and that Jesus was looking for her, comes and falls at His feet in fear. Trembling, she pours out the tragic story of her past twelve years.

“Go in peace. You are free.”

Now, often when we think about peace, we think about a lack of conflict don’t we? We even talk about praying for “peace” in the Middle East. But when Jesus is talking about “peace,” He is talking about something much larger.

The peace, or the shalom, of God is so much larger than merely a lack of conflict. Shalom is about wholeness. Shalom is about freedom. Shalom is living in holistic restoration, every part of you made whole and new again in God. To have the shalom of God rest on you was to experience the life God intended all humanity to live in — one that was whole, and free, redeemed and restored.

So this woman walked away from Jesus with much more than just her bleeding cured. She walked away with her entire life given back to her, every aspect made whole and free, just as it should be.

Where do you need the shalom of God to invade your life? Where do you need your life restored to you? What broken places do you need made whole again?

Take a few minutes to reach out to God. “God, you’ve been faithful. I need you now.”

Mark 5:24-34

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Mike DeVries

Mike DeVries is a husband, father and a veteran pastor and youth pastor. He is an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University in the School of Theology.

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