Ordinary women that did extraordinary things. Part 4

Ordinary women that that did extraordinary things

My best is a product of my worst

The 1% Miracle

Mark 5: 25-34

25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, 27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. 29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? 31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. 34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

During the month of May we have been discussing ordinary women that have done extraordinary things, and how our best is a product of our worst.  Our best is a product of our worst.  Our best is a product of our worst.

In the midst of all that is going on in our nation with the unnecessary brutal death of yet another unarmed black man.  With continued protests, riots, and curfews.  With a president refereeing to his fellow american citizens as thugs and saying things like when there’s looting we’ll start shooting.  With things so tense and turbulent these names come to mind…

Trevon Martin

Eric Garner

Michael Brown

Laquan McDonal

Tamar Rice

Sandra Bland

Rumain Brisbon

Tony Robinson

Eric Harris

Walter Scott

Philando Castile

Alton Sterling 

Terence Crutcher

Stephon Clark

Ahmaud Arbery

And now George Floyd

This is the time for our country to truly be what our pledge of allegiance states one nation under God.  This is our nation’s opportunity to allow God do what only God can do.  God please help our nation turn its worst into its best.  Many people like to quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 in times like this.  If my people who are called by my name would humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their lands.   This was a specific promise for a specific people and many times it is quoted out of context, but there is always a lesson to be learned in the word of God.  Humble, pray, seek God, and turn, all of these actions can be summed up in one action, repentance.  We as a nation must turn away from our ways that have lead us astray and turn to God.  I woke up this morning with a heavy heart as many of you today.  As I was walking my dog this I just heard God saying to me… Symptoms, symptoms, symptoms.  So I was like God what are you trying to say.  And he said we keep trying to fix the symptoms instead of the problem or the cause of the problem.  We want to put a bandaid on a symptom of a problem that requires surgery.  Cold medicine does not cure the cold, it gives relief for the cold symptoms. Think about it… Emancipation Proclamation, bandaid.

Civil Rights Movement, bandaid. 

Voter rights, bandaid.

Desegregation, bandaid.

Affirmative Action, bandaid.  

They were all really nice bandaids, but bandaids all the same.  They only dealt with the symptoms of the problem, not the heart or cause of the problem.  And the heart of the problem are the hearts of men and women.  Until we all see one another as equal human beings these symptoms will continue to consume our nation, ultimately destroying us from the inside out.  But there is hope, because God is still God.  He still sits high and looks low.  So this is our moment to allow God to make our best a product of our worst, because we are at our worst right now, and it is time to let go and let God turn it into our best.  

I am looking forward to the day when we can say that we did it.  

I am looking forward to the day we can say that we made it.  

I am looking forward to the day we can look back and see what God brought us through.  

I am looking forward to the day when this nation can say our best is a product of our worst.

Now let me try to preach this sermon.  In the month of May we have been talking about ordinary women that have done extraordinary things.

I have explained to you that by calling these women ordinary we are not putting them down or throwing shade.  We just refer to them as ordinary because their names are not mentioned in the Bible, and despite them not being named they were able to do extraordinary things and just like us their best was a product of there worst.  Three weeks ago we talked about the woman at the well. Jesus knew the same thing about her that he knows about us, that our best is a product of our worst, and that is why he used ordinary woman in the Bible to do extraordinary things.  Jesus is able to see our potential because he looks beneath the surface, he looks between the signs, and he looks beyond our sin.  Two weeks ago, we learned about the woman that washed and anointed the feet of Jesus.  I stressed to you the fact that she was so focused to get to Jesus that she went to a dinner party that she wasn’t even invited to, knowing that people would talk about her and judge her, and mistreat her.  But she new that her best would be a product of her worst if she did what we need to do, humble ourselves, have a heart to serve, and hear the savior.  Last week we talked about the Canaanite woman that was willing to go to her enemy to ask for help because her daughter was demon possessed and suffering greatly.  We talked about how a mother or father will do just about anything for their children because they are distressed, they will be deliberate, direct, and determined, and God will see that and deliver them.  So today I would like to close out this series.  I actually was going to preach something totally different, but God wanted me to complete this series.  So we are going to talk about one last ordinary woman that did an extraordinary thing.  One last woman whose best was a product of her worst.  One last woman to show you that miracles still happen even if there is only a 1% chance.  Let me share a story with you.

One summer day a young boy named Josiah went to the neighbor’s house to go for a swim in their pool.  It was just an ordinary summer day, hanging out with friends and having a good time.  The kids were jumping in the water and playing with water toys when Josiah decides that he was going to dive through a hula-hoop.  The only problem was that the hula-hoop was in the shallow end of the pool.  When Josiah dove into the water he went straight to the bottom of the pool hit his head on the pool floor.  When they pulled him out of the water he said that he was all right, but he was not acting like himself. The neighbors called his mother and then they rushed him to urgent care.  At the urgent care facility they examine him and x-rayed him and found that he had broken the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth vertebrae in his neck.  The doctor said that there is a saying in the medical profession that “if you break c-four you breath no more.” In other words the chances of Josiah surviving were slim to none.  As a matter of fact the doctor told Josiah’s mother to prepare for the worst because when the c-four vertebrae is broken there is a 1% chance of survival.  Josiah was then life lighted to the nearest hospital and they would not let his mother ride in the chopper with him.  In the mean time his father was on a business trip when he heard the news and he just knew that it didn’t sound good.  So as the mother traveled to the hospital she called her pastor, friends, and family and they all began to pray.  His father dropped to his knees in the middle of the airport and began to call out to God.  When Josiah reached the hospital and they reexamined and x-rayed him.  They brought in his mother and the doctor had the x-rays from urgent care in one hand and the x-rays from the hospital in the other hand and he says to Josiah’s mother these cannot be the x-rays of the same thing because our x-rays show no signs of any of his vertebrae being broken.  Josiah is going to be just fine.  Josiah had a full recovery that did not even require physical therapy.  Josiah said that when people tell him that he is lucky or that his experience was good luck, he simple tells them that it was not luck it was a fact of what God can do and how he can do it.                                                                                   

Now I know that we hear bible stories like the woman with the issue of blood all the time.  And many of us think that miracles like that only happened in the biblical times.  But the story of Josiah was published in June of 2013. Just 7 years ago!  In other words, God is still in the miracle working business.  As a matter of fact I know that a couple of miracles are watching this service right now!  

Someone watching has walked away from a car accident.

Someone watching is a cancer survivor.

Someone watching has survived the abuse.

Someone watching has turned it around.

Someone watching is better today than yesterday.

Someone watching made it in spite of everything and everyone that was against you.

So, I stopped by this morning to let my SCC Family know… 

The God we serve is still able.  

The God we serve can still make ways out of no ways.  

The God we serve can still open doors.  

The God we serve can still move mountains.  

The God we serve can still provide for you.  

The God we serve can still regulate your mind.  

The God we serve is still using ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

The God we serve is still making our best a product of our worst .

The God we serve still performs miracles. 

The God we serve can still heal you even if there is only a 1% chance of you surviving.  

I don’t know about you, but in my experience that is when God shows up.                                                                        

When it seems like its hopeless.  

When it seems like the situation is impossible.  

When your back is against the wall.  

When there is no other way.  

When you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.  

When you hit rock bottom.  

When the odds are stacked against you.  

When you are down to your last dime.  

When your money is funny and your change is strange.

That is when God shows up right on time, and brings with him a miracle.  You see that is what happened in the text today.  There was a woman who had an issue of blood.  Many scholars believe that this issue of blood had to do with here menstrual cycle.  That she was constantly on her period or time of the month for twelve long years.  Could you imagine what this woman had been through in the past twelve years?  I try to be understanding of how uncomfortable and inconvenient that time of the month can be for women.  

You see my wife is a woman.

My mother is a woman.

My grandmothers were women.

My sisters are women.

My aunts are women.

My nieces are women.

Most of my coworkers are women.  

So I hear the stories.  

I have made the late night runs to the store.  

But this was nonstop bleeding for twelve years.  And this was way before the convenience of feminine products if you know what I mean.  There were no maxi pads or tampons.  There were no wings for extra protection.  Now I know this may be a bit uncomfortable to hear, but I want to paint a picture of what she was going through.  

She went to many physicians and no one could seem to help her.  She spent all of her money trying to find a cure.  

She was all alone because of the fact that she was constantly bleeding she was considered unclean and no one could be around her or they would be considered unclean as well.  Someone say my worst, my worst, my worst.

But she heard that Jesus was in town.  And she thought to herself if I could just touch his clothes, I will be healed.  So she pressed through the crowd and touches the hem of his garment and as soon as she touched his clothes the blood dried up.  Jesus felt the power leaving his body and he said who touched me?  The disciples looked at him like he was crazy.  All these people around you and you’re asking who touched you?  Jesus said, I know someone touched me because I felt power leaving my body.  As Jesus looked around the woman knowing what she had done and the healing that she received fell down before him and told him the truth.  And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.  You see beloved this woman had no other option but to go to Jesus.  Nothing else she tried worked out.  If I were a betting man, I would bet that all the doctors she went to see would have only given her about a 1% chance of surviving her issue of blood.  But the thing about only having a one percent chance of surviving is that even though it is only a one percent chance.  It is still a chance.  Just like Josiah’s story, the doctors said that there was only a 1% chance that he would survive, and his family took that one percent chance and fell to their knees and prayed to God.  And in their one percent chance of surviving prayer God gave them a miracle, and healed their son.  So what would you do if you were only giving a one percent chance?  Would you fall apart or would you fall to your knees?  Just like with the women with an issue of blood.  She may have only had a 1% chance of surviving, but she pressed her way through the crowd, touched the hem of Jesus’ clothes and was made whole.  Just like it seems that with all this turmoil in our nation that our chances of survival seem to grow smaller and smaller every day I still believe that God can turn it around.  I still believe in miracles.  What it all boils down to is this?  No matter how bad the situation is.  No matter how difficult the circumstance may appear, even if there is only a 1% chance of survival.  If God is in it, chances are we are going to win it!  So how do I get my one percent miracle?  How can my best be a product of my worst?  How could such an ordinary woman do such an extraordinary thing?  I am so glad that you asked.  

The first thing that you must do to get your 1% miracle and make your best a product of your worst is pray.  In my spiritual imagination, I have to believe that this had to be a praying woman.  There is no way that she could have gone through 12 years of this condition without talking to God on a consistent basis.  Besides, she did not have anyone else to talk to.  Praying is probably how she knew that Jesus would be able to heal her.  I am sure she heard the rumors about him, but she had faith that Jesus could heal her.  And this faith did not come from rumors.  It came from a relationship with God that was created through prayer.  In other words my brothers and sisters, we have to pray!  Every single solitary day we need to have our own personal time with the Lord.  If we ever want to experience our 1% miracle, our best becoming a product of our worst, we have to pray.  

But not only do we need to pray, we also need to press.  If we are ever going to move forward we must do so on our knees, but when we are done praying we must get up and press.  We must do something.  Prayer alone is not going to cut it.  Prayer alone is not gong to do it.  The woman knew what she needed to do, but she also knew that there were consequences for her actions, but she pressed.

She was already considered unclean, but she pressed. 

Because of her unclean status she was not permitted to enter town, but she pressed.  

She obviously wasn’t feeling very well, but she pressed.  

In spite of the many obstacles standing in her way she pressed.  She pressed through her fears.  

She pressed through her tears.

She pressed through her emotions.  

She pressed through her shame.  

She pressed through her guilt.  

She pressed her way through the crowd.  

She pressed her way to the hem of his garment, touched it and was made whole because she pressed.  

And we don’t want to even press our way to church because we don’t feel like logging in.  

We don’t want to press our way to bible study because we heard it all before.  

We don’t want to press to be the change we want to see.

We don’t want to press the issues at hand.

We don’t want to press to do our part.

But if we want to experience our 1% miracle and make our best a product of our worst we are going to have to press. 

Press through the drama.  

Press through the unemployment.  

Press through the health issues.  

Press through the marital problems. 

Press through our wants.

Press through our issues.

Press through our desires.

Press through our-SELVES.

Press through the mess so God can give us a message.  

Press through the test so God can give us a testimony.  

We have to press.  

So in order to get our 1% miracle and make our best a product of our worst we must pray, we must press, and we must praise.  Now you had to know that I was going to go there?  We have to give God praise.  Even with the state our nation is in today we must give God praise.  We have been through this so many times before, but sometimes you have to hear something over and over and over and over again until you get it.  If you really want your miracle you have to give God praise.  Giving God praise is not an optional part of the relationship.  Think of it like wedding vows. I Brian Kelly Holland take you God to be my God. To praise and to follow you from this day forward, for better and for worse I will praise you, for richer and for poorer I will praise you, in sickness and in health I will praise you, to love and to cherish you till death on earth till I see you in heaven where I will praise you for all eternity.   

You have to praise him in the morning. 

Praise him in the noonday.

Praise him when the sun goes down.  

Praise him in the good time.  

Praise him in the bad time.  

Praise him when you’re happy.  

Praise him when you’re sad.  

You have to praise him when you don’t feel like it.  

And I don’t know about you, but I didn’t feel like praising him today, but I decided to follow Job’s example, though he slay me, yet will I trust him, and if I can trust him, I can praise him.

Now as I was preparing this message it struck me that all of the ordinary women that we have discussed have had their own issues.  The woman at the well had men issues.  They woman that washed Jesus’s feet had personal issues, she was assumed to be a street walker.  The woman that asked Jesus to heal her daughter had family issues.  And this woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment had a blood issue.    This last woman had blood issues and the more I thought about her blood issues the more I thought about The Blood of Jesus.  Stay with me because I am going somewhere.  You see the truth of the matter is if the miracle of Jesus Christ did not happen over 2000 years ago there would not have been any more miracles to follow.   

Without Jesus no miracle would be possible.  

Without Jesus the man with leprosy would not have been healed.  Without Jesus the paralytic would not have picked up his mat and walked.  

Without Jesus water would not have been turned to wine.  

Without Jesus the blind would not have received sight.  

Without Jesus Peter would not have walked on the water.  

Without Jesus the storm would not have been calmed.  

Without Jesus the five thousand would not have been fed with two fish and five loaves of bread.  

Without Jesus the adulterous woman would have been stoned.  Without Jesus the demon-possessed man would still be. possessed.  

Without Jesus Lazarus would not have been raised from the dead.  

Without Jesus the deaf would not have heard and the mute would not have talked.  

Without Jesus the woman at the well would not have changed.

Without Jesus the woman with the alabaster box would have never been forgiven.

Without Jesus the the Canaanite woman’s daughter would not have been delivered from the demon./

Without Jesus the woman with the issue of blood would not have been healed.

Without Jesus we will never overcome the disease of racism that is devouring our country.

Without Jesus there would be no sacrifice.  

Without Jesus there would be know resurrection.  

Without Jesus there would be no salvation.  

Because the 1% miracle would never be possible if it had not been for the miracle of Jesus Christ being born of a virgin, so that he could live a perfect life, be crucified on an old rugged cross, and resurrect three days later so that everyone that believes in their hearts and confesses with their mouth that Jesus is Lord shall be saved!  Which is the ultimate miracle because I don’t know about you, but out of all the people in the world I had 1% percent chance of survival before Jesus looked beyond my faults and saw my needs.  

I had a 1% chance of survival before Jesus picked me up, turned me around, and placed my feet on higher solid ground.  

I had a 1% chance of survival when I was out there in the world doing what I wanted to do the ways I wanted to do it.  

I had a 1% chance of survival before Jesus pulled me out of the muck and the mire.  

I had a 1% chance of survival before Jesus took me and made something beautiful out of my life.  

I had a 1% chance of survival before Jesus touched me and made me whole.  

I had a 1% chance of survival before I placed my life in God’s hands and we all know that little becomes much when you place it in God’s hands.  

But I have to be honest this morning.  I still want more.  Not more stuff.  Not more money, but more of God’s miracles.  I want what he has done for me done for all of my family, friends, and the lost in the world.

So I’m looking for a miracle. 

I expect the impossible. 

I feel the intangible. 

I see the invisible.  

The Sky is the limit to what I can have.  

Just believe and receive it. 

God will perform it today.

Is anybody in the house looking for a miracle?  Do you want your 1% miracle?  Do you want your best to be a product of your worst?

Well stand to your feet and give God praise.

The beginning and the end

The author and the finisher

The Alpha and the Omega

The great I am

The king of kings

The lord of lords

The bright and morning star

The lily of the valley

The friend that sticks closer that a brother

The balm of Gilead

The banner of the nations

The captain of our salvation

The chief cornerstone

The chief Shepard

The deliverer

The faithful and true God

The Father of mercies

The Fountain of living waters

The glorious Lord

The God of all comfort

The God of all grace

The God of all hope

The God of all peace

Emmanuel, God with us.

Praise God for Jesus.

Praise God for your 1% miracle.  I am trying to end this, but when I think about the goodness of the Lord and all that he has done for me my soul cries out hallelujah.  Now we have talked about having a one % chance of survival, but consider this as I close this out.  The woman with the issue of blood was healed, and she did not even touch 100% of Jesus.  She did not even touch 50% of Jesus.  As a matter of fact she did not touch Jesus at all.  She touched a piece of his clothes and she was made whole.  Imagine what would have happen if she had actually touched Jesus?  

Just imagine what you could do if you let him touch your heart by accepting him into your life.  

Imagine what he could do if you prayed to him on a consistent basis. 

Imagine what he could do if you pressed.  

Imagine what he could do if you gave him praise. 

Imagine what this nation could do if it allowed God to touch it.

Imagine your miracle coming to pass.

Imagine your ordinary becoming extraordinary. 

Imagine your best becoming a product of your worst.

And on Pentecost Sunday when they were all together on one accord, and the Holy Ghost came upon them causing them all to speak in different tongues or languages Peter preached his first sermon.  On that day more than 3000 people gave their lives to the Lord.  We need that power to fall today like never before.  We need to people of the world to experience the full power of the Holy Spirit.   So if you are not saved I cannot think of a better day for you to give your life to the Lord.  

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