Realizing how little control we possess in this life, perhaps especially when it comes to our pain experience, often produces a defining moment in coming to terms with our dependence on God. Desperation makes us willing:

  • Willing to step outside our own need for self-control and desire for independence.
  • Willing to set aside our pride and assume an attitude of humility.
  • Willing to open God’s word to learn what he says about our situation or others and follow it.
  • Willing to fast and pray when we otherwise may not think of it.
  • Willing to ask others to support us in prayer when we might prefer to keep a smile on our face and our pain locked up in our heart where no one can see.

When all we are left with is God, we realize we need to be willing to come to him in a way we may never have before.

Never once in scripture does God say, “You’re on your own in this one,” “Fight for yourself,” or “Let me know when you have it all figured out.” Instead he says, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Josh. 1:5 NIV); “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (Jam. 1:5 NIV); and “Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come” (Jer. 33:3 NLT).

Reaching out to the Great Physician

I applaud the woman with the issue of blood because she tried everything in her own strength to heal herself, including exhausting her physical and financial resources, and scripture says she only worsened (See Mark 5:26). When she exhausted every other avenue of healing, she engaged her faith and reached out to the great physician. In her weakened, frail condition, she pushed through the crowd determined to touch Jesus’s hem. She could get no lower, nor any further from making eye contact with the Master.

The defining moment in this woman’s life occurred when, lacking in her own strength, she reached out for Jesus’s hem in faith, and his strength went out from him, into her, healing her of the pain that plagued her for over a decade. “At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’” (Mark 5:30 NIV).

Depending on God

This story so beautifully exemplifies our dependence on God, and yet how important our faith is as we reach out to him to do what only he can do. Perhaps instead of viewing our dependence on God in a negative light, we can see it as the avenue he uses to draw us to himself.

So easy to forget yet critical to remember, God is bigger than our pain. Bigger than our hurt. Bigger than our brokenness. Bigger than our suffering. Bigger than our doubts. Bigger than our encouragement. Bigger than our scars. And because God is involved, our story and the impact it has is bigger than our pain, and bigger than what we can see now. Our story isn’t over, and it isn’t limited to our pain. That’s the perspective that God brings.

Our pain doesn't define our story; God does. He is bigger than our suffering and doubts, and our journey is more significant than our pain. Read more for how pain highlights our dependence on God and desperation leads to profound faith.

Friend, if you are experiencing physical, emotional, relational, financial, or spiritual pain, grief or loss, can I encourage you to pick up a copy of my book The Hem of His Garment: Reaching Out To God When Pain Overwhelms. I wrote it in the crucible of pain, with you in mind. In it, I address the common thoughts and questions of pain sufferers, I openly and authentically share about my own painful journey, and I encourage you to hold on to your trust in God while waiting for your healing.

Adapted from The Hem of His Garment: Reaching Out to God When Pain Overwhelms by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Copyright 2023. Used by permission.



The Hem of His Garment

Now Available!

The Hem of His Garment is now available where books and ebooks are sold.


We all experience pain from time to time, and not just physical pain, but also emotional pain, relational pain, spiritual pain, grief and loss.

I’ve been there. I’ve experienced each one of those types of pain. I’ve asked the hard questions. I’ve searched the scriptures for biblical examples and lessons learned through pain and suffering. And I’m sharing a fresh perspective in my new book “The Hem of His Garment: Reaching Out to God When Pain Overwhelms.”

Here’s what Lisa Appelo, Author of Life Can Be Good Again: Putting Your World Back Together After It All Falls Apart, had to say about The Hem of His Garment: “The Hem of His Garment is a masterpiece of help and hope in deep pain. Michelle is the guide we all need when we’ve endured long past the timeline we gave God or God seems silent despite our prayers. Sharing her journey of pain with raw vulnerability, Michelle shows us how to renew authentic hope and navigate suffering that seems too hard to handle.”

The Hem of His Garment: Reaching Out to God When Pain Overwhelms is now available on AmazonBarnes & NobleChristianBook.comBooks-A-Million, and other fine book retailers.

Click here to learn more: The Hem of His Garment.


Moments of desperation can lead to profound faith and dependence on God. Learn from the inspiring story of the woman with the issue of blood and how she found healing through her unwavering faith.