This Day in History: 0000-07-19

July 19 – Mark 5:21-36 

Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around Him on the shore.
Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at His feet, pleading fervently with Him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”
Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around Him. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding…
While He was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. They told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”
But Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”

Have you ever had a situation that felt impossible? One in which you wanted to have faith in God’s power to redeem, but you just couldn’t, no matter how hard you tried, see a way for Him to do it? Let’s step into this story for the next two days and see if we can’t find some comfort and hope as we get a glimpse into how our Lord operates. 

Imagine being among the crowd that day, or even one of the disciples. Imagine being Jairus! He was a leader in the local synagogue. Most everyone in the crowd likely knew who he was. They probably knew about his daughter and her illness too. I’m sure they watched with sympathy as he approached Jesus and fell at His feet. They likely knew the situation was hopeless. But Jairus – he stepped out in faith. He had the courage to approach Jesus, and the humility to beg for His help. Imagine the hope that filled his heart as Jesus agreed to go with him to heal his daughter. 

But then, the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years found the courage to touch Jesus’s robe in faith and suddenly everything shifted from Jairus to this woman. Can you imagine the panic in your heart if you’re Jairus? Can you imagine the inner turmoil as you try to appreciate the miracle you’re seeing happen before your eyes, knowing every second spent with this woman is a second closer to all your hope for your daughter’s miracle vanishing into thin air?  

And then, can you imagine the emotion of that moment when Jairus’s household servant showed up to say, it was too late? The girl was dead. What a terrible moment that must have been for Jairus! To have had such great hope in the Lord, only to have it seemingly left unmet. I can’t tell you how he felt, but I can tell you how I would have felt. I would have felt abandoned. Unimportant to my God. And a little angry! 

I know, because I’ve been there. I’ve been on the cusp of a miracle, fully believing in God to do the work. I’ve seen the evidence of His hand and known with certainty that He had agreed to come and heal the one I loved. And I’ve lived that moment when I am hit with a sucker-punch to the gut that seems to indicate all my hopes have been misplaced. I would love to say I immediately responded in faith, but I can’t. I was devastated and disillusioned. Have you been there? 

My friend, the story didn’t end with the news of a dead daughter for Jairus, and it didn’t end in despair for me. I’d be willing to bet it won’t end there for you either. Check back tomorrow for the rest of the story. Jesus is extending His hand to you and saying, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” He will not abandon you.