Fix my heart on You, Lord. Enlighten me with new truth from Your Word today.
Read MARK 5:35-43
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The apostle Paul…pleaded three times for the removal of the ‘thorn in my flesh’ (2 Cor. 12:7-10). In a model response to a negative answer he put behind him the disappointment of not getting what he wanted and instead accepted what he got” (Phillip Yancey).
I remember the day my daughter was born as though it were yesterday. This new life, so precious, so vulnerable, so loved, changed me forever, for she made me a father. A profound feeling of responsibility centered itself in my deepest being. I can’t imagine anything that would tear at a parent’s heart more than the sight of a sick daughter or son slowly dying. Perhaps nothing less than this could have driven Jairus, an elder in the local synagogue, to seek Jesus.
As one of the synagogue’s leaders, Jairus was invested in the system of holy places, rituals and traditions that formed the fabric of first-century Jewish life—a system that Jesus challenged at every turn. In front of Jairus, he touched and blessed a woman who, according to those rituals, was unclean, and who “had made countless people unclean” as she pushed through the crowd. The abruptness of those who came to tell Jairus his daughter had died may indicate disapproval of his decision to seek help from Jesus. Was Jairus able to believe, as Jesus urged (36)? It seems unlikely, given his astonishment at what happened (42). Jesus’ action was not prescribed by the father’s conviction or lack of it. How horrible when formulaic theology attaches blame for a child’s lack of healing, or even death, to a parent’s inadequate faith. What cruelty it is to burden grieving parents in this way, and what a betrayal of the compassion of Christ!
For nearly 20 years, a small group has met regularly in our home to pray and wrestle with issues of faith and life. One of our members died from cancer, though we prayed fervently for his healing. Another was close to death, but rallied in the very hours we gathered to pray for him. It’s an unfathomable mystery.
Ponder the mysteries of God’s working that you have experienced or heard of. Express to God your trust in his wisdom and goodness.
Merciful Father, I bow before Your sovereignty in all things, especially in prayers not answered to my liking. May the example of Paul lead me to greater trust in You.
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