A NEW BEGINNING OF HAPPINESS
by David Sisler
Happiness for many people is waiting on something big to happen. If they land a great new job or receive a large raise, they are happy. If they are able to take a three week vacation, they are happy.
Andy Rooney, the resident curmudgeon on 60 Minutes, suggests that there aren’t that many major events to fulfil such a person.
Andy says, “If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you’re not going to be very happy. If on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, or a nap, then you are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.”
Casey would have understood Andy Rooney’s definition of happiness. One day his mother took him to the pediatrician. The doctor said, “Casey, are you allergic to anything?” Casey nodded and whispered in the doctor’s ear. The doctor smiled and wrote out a prescription. Casey’s mother dropped it into her purse without reading it.
Later at the drug store, the pharmacist remarked that Casey must have an unusual food-drug interaction. When Casey’s mom said she didn’t understand what he meant, he showed her the label on the bottle. As per the pediatrician’s instructions, it read: “Do not take with broccoli.”
One day Jesus met a woman who would have understood Andy Rooney’s definition of happiness. She would not have experienced it, but she would have understood it. I don’t think she was looking for something major. She had long ago given up on the idea that anything like that could happen to her. A good day for her would have been one day without pain.
The woman had been hemorrhaging for twelve years. It was a persistent, wearing, weakening kind of problem. There was never an instant when she had any relief.
It was not that she had not tried many remedies. She had gone to the doctor. In fact, she had gone to many of them. Probably hesitantly at first, like most of us, but she went. And when one did not give her a remedy, she went to another, and another, until all of her money was gone. She probably never had much, but now she had nothing at all.
It would have been different if she had been getting a little better all along. She was not better. As a matter of fact, she was now worse than when she first contracted the disease. Her money was gone. Her health was failing rapidly. Hope had just about vanished.
Then she heard people talking about Jesus. She could not bring herself to ask. Perhaps if she could just touch his garment, maybe some of his power would rub off on her. It was a remarkable faith. And when she touched the hem of Jesus’ robe, immediately the hemorrhaging stopped!
At that moment Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” The disciples said, “Lord, you are in a crowd. People are jostling, shoving, pushing, trying to get a glimpse of you, trying to touch you, and you’re asking for one specific who?”
She was a face in the crowd to most. She was an individual face to Jesus. She was one of a class to others. She was one of a kind to him. We do not even know her name. He knew her need.
Of all that pushing, shoving crowd – no different from a crowd today, lined up to see a celebrity – only one person reached out with a need, reached out in faith and was touched and healed by Jesus.
Perhaps you did not intend to read this column. But you did and now, maybe for the first time in your life, you understand that God is concerned about your need, that He knows exactly who you are and what you are. Then reach out. Touch him by faith. It may be only a very small thing, but it will have eternal value. Once you touch Jesus, you will never be the same.
Copyright 2003 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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