He turns to her and says “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.”
- Clarity. This involves knowing what you want and being able to realistically assess where you are. No exaggerating your circumstances. Just look at the facts and claim them as they are.This woman certainly recognized the severity of her problem. This story is told in two places in the gospel — Matthew and Mark.Mark’s retelling gives a little more detail than Matthew’s. Mark reports the woman had been suffering with continuous bleeding for 12 years. She’d “suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all she had and was no better, but grew worse.”After learning about Jesus, she decided that He was her only hope and she decided she needed to try to see him.
- Beliefs. Making change and achieving any goal requires believing that change can and will happen. We’ve got to believe several things in order to make change happen and to achieve our goals.We’ve got to believe in God and that He has a plan that includes us. That ultimately all things work for His glory and our benefit.It’s patience to get to that other side and experience the benefit that’s so hard.But the other part that’s hard is to believe that we’re worthy of the outcome we want.
- Environment. We have an external environment and an internal environment. Both have to support our efforts to create a life and business in sync with our faith, beliefs, and values. We need an active prayer and spiritual life and need to keep that life “tidy.” We also need to keep our thoughts optimistic (that’s different from just being positive) and focused.Our external environment doesn’t just focus on the state of our homes and offices. It also speaks to the people we work with, live with, and associate with.Science has known for a long time that “gloomy thinking can be contagious” and that shouldn’t surprise us. Just think about the places you’ve worked, where you most happy and where you were most unhappy. One of my earliest jobs was as a secretary in the purchasing department of an engineering firm. The woman at the next desk was one of the most miserable people I’ve ever known. As much as I tried to ignore her, I couldn’t. She kept up an ongoing monologue of complaints about everything from the vendors we dealt with to employees in other departments to the weather. Eventually it wore me down and led me to focus on the negative of every day. I was sorry for her but happy for me when her job was eliminated.But I was pretty negative on my own. I had to tune in to my own thoughts and begin to turn them around in order to save myself.
- Strategy. The woman in the gospel reading had heard about Jesus. She knew he was powerful and had a reputation for healing. She believed he was her last and only hope to heal her sickness. But she needed a strategy to get there and come in contact with him. There must have been hundreds if not thousands of people who wanted to see and touch him. How would she get there? How would she navigate the crowd to come into contact with him? It took a solid, but flexible plan to achieve the end result.
- Skills. In this case, she focused on what she could do. She could take herself there and take advantage of the opportunity that presented itself. Maybe she had called out to him and he didn’t hear her. Maybe she realized that the crowd was too loud or that she’d never get his attention. But her belief that his power was so strong that all she had to do was touch his cloak was enough.One problem we can develop is that we believe we don’t have the skills it takes to achieve our goals. We look outside of ourselves because we’re not enough….not smart enough…not talented enough…there’s something that’s just not good enough about the skills we do have.But skills grow from within. They need the right fertilizer to grow. Sometimes we do need help from an outside source but we need to choose the right one and do what will propel us to growth and goal achievement. We need to focus on the core skills that will move us forward and not on the skills that won’t get us where we want to go or those that distract or soothe us from taking courageous action to move forward.
- Courage. It’s defined as action in the face of fear. Standing up for yourself. Identifying your core message and saying it loud and clear. Focusing on communicating to the audience that most wants to hear your message and that will resonate most with it and you. It comes from listening to God and feeling his presence. To moving forward with what you know to be right even though others tell you that you’re making a mistake.If you find yourself chronically unable to take action, ask yourself what you’re afraid of. Fear is often a memory that we project on to something in the future.When you connect your intended action with your faith, beliefs, and values it can give you strength to take the action you need to. Remember, you’re never alone. These are the best times to pray and ask for courage, wisdom, and strength.
- Action. Maybe the woman from the gospel story would have gotten well “on her own.” Maybe some new doctor would learn of her case and save her. She could have kept waiting. After all, she’d been sick fore than a decade. She was probably used to it.But she didn’t. What did she have to lose?So she got herself to where Jesus would be and touched his cloak.Can you imagine the joy of hearing “your faith has made you well” after so many years of being sick?Have you been looking outside of yourself for answers that have been inside of you all along? Have you given your power to someone else in the hope that they can “cure” you? Or are you willing to turn inward, to connect with God, and allow what’s inside of you to come out?