And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.
Sometimes in life, we all come to the end of the line. We’ve gone through so much that we just give up. We’ve been disappointed over and over. We’ve been walked over. And over. And over. Perhaps even abused.
And we come to that place where there is just no more to give. We’re fresh out of hope. There isn’t a chance that anything good is going to happen. Nothing’s going to change.
As we meet this woman, her once healthy and rich life was long gone. The place where we find this sickly, discouraged, destitute, penniless woman, is at the end of the line. The end of her line.
I can’t imagine her physical pain and suffering. And, most of all, I just can’t wrap my head around her non-physical troubles.
I’m not trying to minimize her real problem. I’m not trying to diminish her substantial pain. I’m not trying to lessen what she had to put up with. It was a constant, daily, intense weight that she had to endure. And to endure alone. I can’t imagine what she lived through, all those long twelve years.
But there was something more than just her physical and emotional problems. There were the problems of the physicians. Not just one doctor, but many doctors, over many years. They offered false hope. They sold false cures.
I wonder if it was like this.
One after another, she heard of someone else in another town. She’d seen so many doctors that she looked on the list, making sure this really was someone new. After reassuring herself that this was really a new, potential opportunity for a cure, she went. As she traveled, she prayed and hoped that this time would be different.
When she arrived, she signed in at the office. When her name was called, she walked up and introduced herself. Since she was a new patient, they gave her a form with questions about her problem, insurance, and ability to pay. She was examined, which must have been a humiliating experience. The doctor turned to her, mumbling something she didn’t understand, and was assured that he had a cure that was sure to work.
She might have asked a question or two, trying to figure out if this was just another doctor with one of the same, failed treatments she’d endured in the past. Eventually, she paid and left with the treatment and some hope.
When she got home, she started the process all over again. Following instructions. Did what he said. Drank and ate what he said. Applied what he said. When he said. Where he said.
If only something changed. If only her bleeding slowed a bit. But with every doctor, with every potential cure, with every payment, she only got worse. Her health was going down. And down. And down.
Her declining health was matched by her declining hope. Her once happy optimism continued its downward spiral into despair. She had hope when she started her quest to find a cure. But with each new doctor, each new appointment, each paid bill, each failed treatment, her disappointment grew. And grew. And grew. And as her disappointment grew, her bank account shrank. And shrank. And shrank.
After trying everything else. Everyone else. She gives up on what she knows and what’s been told to her. It took desperation to try something new.
This is when she goes to Jesus. At the end of the line. But it’s more than the end of just any line. It’s at the end of her line.
Each one of us has a different end of the line. For some, it was at the end of a promise broken. For others, at the end of a broken childhood. A broken career and finances were the end for yet others.
I don’t know what the situation was at the end of your line. I don’t know the who that cut the end of your line. I don’t know the circumstances that tore the end of your line.
But I do know the who that can heal your broken heart that’s at the end of your line. Restore your ripped life, giving meaning, purpose, and peace. That who is Jesus. Only Jesus calls and invites us.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
We bring him the end of our line, and he gives us himself. If that isn’t good news, than I don’t know what is.