Blog Posts.

Be Brave.

Warriors are strategic. In preparation for war, they gather together, against their common enemy, knowing that there is work to be done. There are battle plans to negotiate, soldiers to put into position and swords to sharpen. They know that without proper preparation, it will be too easy for their enemy to overtake them, so they conspire. 

Warriors are wise. They know the proper weapons to wield in combat; weapons that appeal distinctively to their enemy’s weaknesses, knowing just when to strike at the most opportune moment. Waiting in wisdom is the name of their game and they do so earnestly, longing to taste victory. 

Warriors persevere. When failure does come, and a battle is lost, they don’t stay down for long. Despite being wounded from war, they rise humbly from the ashes stronger than before, determined to get back onto the battlefield.

Warriors are made of many things – but there is one unique trait that drives every Warrior into battle. It lives deep within their souls and intertwines with every part of who they are. It is their reason for strategizing, it motivates them to be wise, and it persuades them to persevere. Warriors are clothed in bravery.

I want to introduce you to a woman in the book of Mark that was disgracefully overlooked by society, but fiercely brave in the eyes of her friend, Jesus.

Mark 5, verses 25 – 34 is where our story begins:

“A large crowd followed and pressed around Him. 

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. When she 

heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd 

and touched his cloak, because she thought, 

“If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 

Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body 

that she was freed from her suffering. 

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him. 

He turned around in the crowd and asked, 

“Who touched my clothes?” 

“You see the people crowding against you,” His disciples 

answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 

Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, 

came and fell at His feet and, trembling with fear, told Him 

the whole truth.

He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. 

Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

At this point in history, the brave Warrior in our story has a lot going against her. First, she was a woman. In that time period, women were held at a lesser value than men. Not only was she a woman, but she was a woman with a medical condition that for twelve years made her “unclean”. Back in that day, not even Rabbis were allowed to touch or be touched by someone with her condition. I can imagine her hope slowly fading after each physician delivered the same devastating news over and over again, “We don’t know how to help you.” I can see her anguish and deep sorrow as she watched her friends and loved ones move on with their lives, while she remained stuck, her condition only getting worse. Everyone around her was headed onward while she was unable to move, sedentary due to a circumstance in her life that she had no control over. I can also imagine her wearing the title that society had given her like a heavy chain around her neck, “Unclean. Unworthy.” If I had been in her shoes, I would have found it extremely difficult to keep myself from giving in to despair and hopelessness. Which is why what happens in verses 28 and 29 absolutely blows my mind! 

In verse 28, we hear this poor woman’s desperation as she thinks to herself, “If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.” At this time in our story, the works of Jesus have spread like wildfire. The town was most likely buzzing with the news that Jesus was on His way, so had gathered in anticipation of His arrival, while she stood at the very back of the crowd, alone, waiting for Him to arrive. Can you picture her anxiousness? Can you see the doubt all over her face as she contemplates approaching this man that claims to be the very Son of God?  Would He reject her, disgusted by her condition? Would He try to heal her and fail like so many before Him? Would it just reopen the old wounds of holding onto hope, only to be crushed again by the weight of her incurable condition? Not to mention, what would the people around her think? Her palms are sweating, she feels like she could throw up, but Jesus has arrived and she has a choice to make. She can remain paralyzed by her fear or she can swallow her terror and approach Him despite it all. So, this valiant woman, despite her sheer terror, charges right through the crowd of people who have called her unworthy and she approaches the Son of God. 

Then we see in verse 29 that as soon as she touches Jesus’ clothes, she is immediately healed!  Not only is she healed, but Jesus, despite the crushing crowd around him, has noticed that someone has touched His clothes. In verses 30 to 32, we see Him asking His disciples, “Who touched my clothes?”  I find it interesting that His disciples responded rather annoyed, “Like, dude, you’re in a crowd of people. What do you mean who touched your robe?!”  It didn’t go exactly like that, but you get the picture that His disciples really didn’t think it was that big of a deal. But instead of following the nonchalant attitude of His disciples, Jesus waits and He continues to look around for the one person who has bravely fought to get near enough to touch Him, believing He could set them free from their suffering. Finally, in verses 33 and 34 we see our brave Warrior approach her Maker once again. Verse 34 literally states that she “fell at His feet, and trembling with fear, told Him the whole truth.”  And Jesus looks at her brave, but battle-weary face and responds with, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”  

This brave woman is the only woman throughout the entire Bible that Jesus addresses as “Daughter”.  This brave woman overcame her deepest despairs, ignored her fear, and chose to approach Jesus boldly. In return, she was greeted with healing and a new name, “Daughter of the King.” Imagine the life-changing experience she would have missed out on had she chosen to stay crippled by her doubt!  Verse 30 says, “At once, Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him.” She never would have experienced the mighty power of her King had she not acted on her bravery! Her bravery, her choice to step forward, activated Jesus’ healing power. Jesus knew someone very special had touched His clothes. He stopped what He was doing to turn and look for her! He didn’t care about the opinion of the crowd. Why? Because He calls her worthy. He didn’t look at her in disgust and think, “she’s unclean”.  He refused to move until He could encounter her face to face. He knew her bravery as she fought through the battle waging in her mind. He stopped what He was doing because He saw her for who she really was; brave, bold, fearless, lionhearted. He recognized that even though she was afraid, she chose to be brave anyway. She chose to persevere instead of letting her hopelessness keep her cemented to the back of that crowd. Because of her choice, her life would be forever changed. 

To me, being brave doesn’t mean there is an absence of fear. Being brave means that even though you are scared out of your mind, you ride into battle anyway because you are fully confident of the One leading the charge. Warrior friend, don’t let the fear in your mind keep you from living out all that your Mighty Warrior, Jesus, has for you. If He is the One calling you to it, I promise He will equip you to charge through the crowd – but sometimes even Warriors have to fight for their blessing. So step forward, sweaty palms and all, and find your courage in the One who makes you brave.