Physical problems can cause problems beyond just the physical, especially when those problems persist for prolonged periods of time. Physical problems can even keep us from doing some of the things we want to do, which can in turn impact how we feel about ourselves and how we treat others.
Physical problems can lead to anger, anxiety, fear, depression, and increased stress, which can all cause an increase in physical problems. The whole thing can become a vicious cycle that leads to a sense of despair and hopelessness.
In part 2 (Physical Problems) of CCC’s Troubled series, Jesus had an encounter with a woman who, according the Jewish Law, this woman would have been a social outcast, isolated, alone, and looked down on because of her physical problems. She had reached a point of desperation but also found a way to remain hopeful.
Take a few minutes to read Mark 5:25-34 and the next step of considering the following questions about how physical problems impact more than just the physical.
- What kind of physical aches and pains do you have or expect to have as you get older?
- How do or might physical problems impact more than just the physical?
- How might the woman’s physical problems have impacted her mentally, emotionally, and spiritually?
- According to Jewish Law, this woman would have been considered unclean & been separated from the rest of society. How might her physical problems impacted her socially and relationally?
- Why do you think the woman believed touching the hem of Jesus’ robe might work when nothing else had?
- How do you think this woman might have felt when her physical problem ended?
- Why do you think Jesus asked who touched him? Do you think he already knew?
- Why were his followers frustrated at the question?
- How do you think the woman’s story impacted those in the crowd who heard it?
- In what ways did Jesus give the woman more than physical healing?
- Specifically, in what way did the physical healing impact her spiritually?
- What are some ways we miss relationship with God because we are focused only on physical things?
- What next steps will you take to ask and answer, “what about me?”
The woman in this encounter believed if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’ garment she would be healed – and she was willing to take action based on her belief. She sought physical healing – but she got so much more. Jesus gave her physical healing but also social, relational, emotional, and spiritual healing.
It may be easy to focus on whether physical healing comes or not, and it’s easy to get hung up on why some people are healed and others aren’t. Those are not easy questions or tensions to manage. It may seem trite and unhelpful in some ways, but we do not understand everything God understands. Nor do we understand how God is accomplishing his grander plan in the midst of physical problems we experience. One of the most powerful parts of the woman’s story is she held on to hope and faith in the midst of her physical problems.
Today is Monday – make it a day where you focus any physical problems beyond just the physical!