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  • Rhonda Kelley

Faith and Infirmity

Two women in Scripture have always intrigued me. Though unnamed, their stories have been passed down through the centuries. Both were women of strong faith who endured serious infirmities for long periods of time. An infirmity is physical or mental weakness, frailty, or sickness. As a woman of faith who has faced cancer and its recurrence for four and a half years, I relate to these ladies more today. More than ever, I want my faith to keep me at Jesus’ feet and trusting in His perfect will.

Luke 13:10-17 describes a woman “crippled by a spirit for eighteen years.” She was bent over and could not stand or straighten up. Such suffering for so long! A couple of years ago, my precious mother was debilitated by pain in her lower back and could not stand upright. After months of doctors and tests, finally a mass was found which was pressing against the base of her spine. What a relief when radiation treatments dissolved the mass allowing her to stand up straight without pain. Through her suffering, Mother trusted the Lord to give her strength and healing.

Three of the four Gospels include the encounter of Jesus with a “hemorrhaging woman” (Matt. 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48). Scripture says she had a bleeding disorder for 12 years and had spent all her money on doctors. Her sickness must have been overwhelming physically, mentally, and spiritually! I can testify to the high cost of medical care when experiencing a prolonged, serious illness. I am grateful for good medical insurance and a cancer policy! This woman of faith knew that Jesus could heal her if she could just touch Him. What a powerful image of a weak woman dragging herself through the large crowd and literally reaching up from the ground just to touch the hem of His robe. She was healed and gave God the glory.

I must confess that as I battle cancer (surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy), what encourages me most is that both women were healed of their infirmities! Anyone who is sick wants to be well. And believers know that God has the power to heal. However, in these two personal accounts, God wants to teach us about faith. What can we learn from these precious ladies who persevered despite persistent suffering?

In their infirmities, these faithful women…

  1. Sought the Lord – In their weakness, these women of faith focused on Jesus.

  2. Clung to His promises – In their suffering, they believed His promises in Scripture.

  3. Trusted His divinity – In their pain, they knew He was fully God.

  4. Received His power – In their infirmity, they experienced His Holy Spirit’s power.

  5. Rejoiced in their healing – In their recovery, they celebrated His work in their lives.

No matter your condition or trial, as a woman of faith, you can grow through your infirmity as you exercise your faith in your loving Heavenly Father. Our part is unwavering faith, and God’s work is miraculous healing of our minds, our spirits, and our bodies, knowing that in eternity our healing will be complete.

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