I have learned that, when it comes to the situations in our lives, you can keep waiting for change to come, or you can work to make things happen. I prefer the latter. When my job was outsourced to another company after 23 years on the job, I worried about being in my late 40s and not having any skills but working at the telephone company. For a few days, I cried about the loss of my job, joining my colleagues in decrying the lack of loyalty of the company. Then, I decided that if a change was going to come, I had to make things happen, with the help of God, instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself. This is similar to the woman who went to Jesus for healing in Mark 5:25-34 (see also Luke 8:40-56 and Matthew 9:18-26).
The Scriptures tell us that she had been hemorrhaging for 12 years. She had spent all her money on doctors, and had only got worse. Then she heard about Jesus, and she decided to go where he was, in hopes of a healing. To understand the magnitude of her actions, we must remember that she was considered unclean, which meant she had to call out, “Unclean!” wherever she went. This had to be embarrassing, so it would have been easier for her to stay home and keep hoping for a miracle. But, she left her home, weak and in pain, and made her way to where Jesus was. When she found him, he was surrounded by a crowd of people.
Rather than give up and walk away, she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” So, with courage and faith, she reached through the crowd, touched his robe, and the healing power of God immediately stopped her bleeding. Jesus asked his disciples who had touched his robe, and the disciples were dumbfounded because there was such a crowd pressing against him. But, Jesus knew there had been a special touch and that healing power had gone out of him. The woman finally told him her story, and Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” She realized that healing was not going to come to her; she had to make it happen through actions on her part.
Too often we pray for God’s help, and forget that we have a part to play in helping to change situations in our lives. You can ask God all day for a great job, but if you do not take actions such as looking for a job, applying for a job, and making sure you have the skills for the job, then nothing will change. When you do your part, then He can work.
I had always wanted to teach at a college since I visited the campus of Tennessee State University, a historical Black university in Nashville, when I was in the fourth grade. I loved the respect that the professors received from the students, which seemed so wonderful to a little black girl growing up in the South where adult Black males and females were called by their first names by younger whites. I pledged that one day I would walk across the quad with my robes trailing in the wind. So, I thought that with my job ending, it was a great time to become a professor, but I had no degrees! So, I went to college, and I enjoyed learning so much that I could not stop going to school. I finally earned my doctorate. Thankfully, we do not have to wear robes anymore, but boy, have I enjoyed teaching! I made it happen, through hard work, perseverance, and faith in God, doing what was needed for God to bless me with my dream job.
So, if there are problems in your lives today, and you are waiting for God to move, be sure that you are doing your part! If it is saving a marriage, then go for counseling and really do the work of listening to your spouse’s words and concerns, being willing to admit to your own wrongs. If it is a job, then be sure you have prepared for the job. If it is healing, go to the doctor. Yes, prayer works, but God gives us professionals as well. Then, do what the doctor says, and if necessary, change doctors if it appears nothing is changing and your doctor seems unresponsive to your concerns.
Yes, we even have to participate in our salvation, accepting Jesus as our Savior and Lord, and then learning of Him and how to live a life pleasing in His sight. Too often we wait for a change to come, but waiting is an action word, not an idle one. While you wait, do the work needed to change the situation for your good. Remember that the sculptor cannot make anything without buying the clay!
I know that there is nothing impossible for you! But, I also know that You expect us to do what needs to be done to help ourselves. I acknowledge that it is You who touches our hearts and gives us dreams. You also give us the determination and the faith to get up and make things happen, helping those who help themselves. It is knowledge too wonderful for me! Thank you for giving us what we need to change our lives for the better. Bless Your Holy Name! In Jesus’s Name, Amen.