“thy faith hath made thee whole”

Mar 8

This week while studying chapters out of the New Testament something hit me harder than it has ever done so before. For most of my life, when I’ve heard the phrase or read the passage from Mark 5, “…thy faith hath made thee whole…” I’ve always thought of it in a physical sense, but this week that all changed.

It was last year in Idaho when someone posed the question over the pulpit,
“do you faith enough to be made whole, even if it doesn’t happen in the time frame or the way you think it will? do you have the faith it takes to wait for your blessing? and then after all that waiting, do you have faith to reach out to the Savior so you can truly be healed?”

they then continued to recount the woman mentioned in Mark Chapter 5, and her disease of blood. My mind quickly went to a dear friend who was struggling at the time with infertility, and I struggled to understand. I struggled to understand how God could even allow the most faithful to go through such physical pain on this earthly life, how He could allow so much waiting before the miracle to come.

And truth be told, for some, the miracle is *physical* healing, like in these verses and chapters that were part of our study this week:

A leper (Matthew 8:1–4)

A centurion’s servant (Matthew 8:5–13)

Peter’s mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14–15)

Two blind men (Matthew 9:27–31)

A man who was paralyzed (Mark 2:1–12)

A man possessed by evil spirits (Mark 5:1–20)

Jairus’s daughter (Mark 5:22–23, 35–43)

A woman with an issue of blood (Mark 5:24–34)

But what I didn’t understand was that the person at the pulpit *wasn’t* talking about the physical aspect of healing — they were talking about spiritually being made whole.

As I read Mark 4 these lyrics sang in my mind and the truth started flooding from the words,

“Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness.
No shelter or help is nigh.
Carest thou not that we perish?
How canst thou lie asleep
When each moment so madly is threat’ning
A grave in the angry deep?

The winds and the waves shall obey thy will:
Peace, be still.
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea
Or demons or men or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean and earth and skies.
They all shall sweetly obey thy will:
Peace, be still; peace, be still.
They all shall sweetly obey thy will:
Peace, peace, be still.”

— Mary Ann Baker, ca. 1874

Sometimes we are in the most broken states, whether it’s from job loss, a crumbling marriage, a sick child, a cherished relationship that is now strained, a feeling of doubt, a financial crisis, a death of a close loved one, a sudden illness, unfulfilled blessings, uncertainty, depression, injustice, and the list can go on and on. And physically there can feel as if there is little can do, little we can physically be healed from; we can’t wish away the death of a loved one, but I know that through time, we can spiritually feel God’s peace work through us. 

Our spirits, minds, and bodies are vessels, ships in this case if you will, and if we allow our Savior to be at the center of our thoughts and actions we can feel His love and His power work through our lives, even in ways we weren’t expecting.

So how do we become healed?
How do we feel *whole* through our faith?
repentance,
being a disciple,
defending our beliefs,
and having the Lord as our friend during our life’s journies (for me that looks a lot like a prayful conversation). 

Now, we will slip because unlike our perfect Savior, we are imperfect, we do falter, and when we get distracted by the overwhelm we tend to drown, just as Peter did when he tried walking on water. Oh but then for what purpose are we here in mortality for? To have the opportunity to know God, to see His infinite goodness, and to have trials of faith so that we can know that we will be carried by our Savior to higher ground; simply put, our opportunity is to welcome his invitation to come and follow him. To let our life’s tempests to be made calm, or even to be able to feel peace and *joy* even though things feel uncertain and unmanageable. 

I love what the Come Follow Me Manual said, “The centurion, a Gentile, felt unworthy to have the Savior in his home. The woman with an issue of blood was considered unclean and was ostracized from Jewish society. Yet the Savior blessed them both.”

In moments where we feel undeserving, unworthy, or unable to feel Christ’s love for us are the moments where we, like the woman with an issue of blood, must reach out to Him. Even if we feel as though we are falling short, even if at that pinnacle moment we have stretched as far as what feels physically and mentally possible for us, even if we are only able to reach His hem. Through our intentional trying,  I know that we will be left feeling whole. I know that God is aware of us, I know that the Savior can calm the storms of our lives, no matter if they are surrounding us or within us. 

I pray for greater faith, for greater understanding of how I can be made whole through His selfless love and perfect example. 

“No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean and earth and skies.”

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