That's great news," I exclaimed into the phone. "I'm so happy for them. Know I'll keep praying," I told my friend Sandy as I hung up. Sandy had called with an update about her friend's son, a leukemia patient whose blood clots had dissolved in record time. The doctors were amazed; the parents were praising God.
I really was happy for them. But I also felt hurt. I'd already lost one son to mitochondrial disease, a genetic condition that inhibits energy production at the cellular level. Now my other son was in neurological decline from the same disease. Deep inside I wondered, Why not us?
Why did God seem to heal some people and not others? I'd lost a friend a few years ago to melanoma cancer, but had another celebrating her five-year milestone of being cancer-free. There didn't seem to be any consistency.
Several weeks later, as my women's Bible study did an overview of Jesus' miracles, I continued to struggle with seeing God's healing power on others' behalf. Why not my sons?
Then we discussed the story of the bleeding woman in Mark 5. In the story, Jesus was on his way to Jairus's house to heal his daughter. Pressed by crowds along the way, Jesus stopped suddenly and asked who'd touched him. Unbeknownst to the crowds, in their midst was a woman who'd been bleeding for 12 years. She'd exhausted her funds on medical help to no avail. She was considered unclean and allowed no meaningful interaction with people.1