Have you ever worked hard to improve challenging circumstances in your life but things just went from bad to worse? Maybe it was trying to lose the few extra pounds you gained over the Christmas holidays but when you stepped on the scale you rubbed your eyes discovering that you put on weight instead of losing it. Or maybe you have been trying hard to rekindle your marriage after a stressful season but your spouse says, “we need to talk!” Or like me, you have been trying diligently to save when you discover not one but two nails in your tires in a short span of time. Why does it seem that whenever you are trying hard to improve a situation in your life things often go from bad to worse? Last week, while I was preparing a message to share with the youth, I was reminded of a Bible story that has become very important to me in recent years, it is the story of Jairus and his fatally-ill daughter found in Mark 5:21-43.
In the story we find a frantic father, whose daughter is terribly ill, coming to Jesus for help. What a great start; a father coming to Jesus in a time of need, isn’t that what we should all do? Jesus is on His way to Jairus’ home to heal his daughter when Jesus decides to stop the procession and asks the crowd around Him, “who touched me?” Precious time was lost and Jairus got the news that he was so desperately trying to avoid. Mark writes:
“While Jesus spoke, men came from the house of the leader of the place of worship. They said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher anymore?” [Mark 5:35]
Things have suddenly gone from bad to worse, Jairus’ precious daughter has now died. There are a few key truths here we should all be mindful of, especially if we’re in the midst of a crisis. What are they? This story gives us three things to remember when life goes from bad to worse:
1.Be careful of the voices you listen to: Jarius’ friends asked him “...Why trouble the Teacher anymore?” Jesus, having overheard this conversation responded with a perfect reminder. This is how the Message Bible re-phrased His response, “Don’t listen to them; just trust me.” Jairus had to decide whose voice he was going to believe. When you are going through a season of life that is challenging, there will be competing voices telling you what you should do and what moves you need to make. These voices can come from well-meaning friends who are just, “looking out for you.” But be careful who you listen to as these voices may actually be in direct conflict with what Jesus says.
2.Close the door on doubt: When Jesus arrived to Jairus’ home, He asked the crowd of mourners to leave because they were publicly laughing at Him and expressing their sarcasm. “...The crowd laughed at him. But He made them all leave,..” [Mark 5:40] Why did Jesus ask them to leave? Maybe it’s because when we make more noise about size of our problems than the power of our God, miracles cannot happen and healing can never take place. When we close the door on doubt, we make room for God to deliver.
3.You can still rise in your affliction: Death was keeping Jairus’ daughter down but Jesus grabbed her hand, and while everyone was saying she was dead He told her to rise to her feet. “Holding her hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means “Little girl, get up!” [Mark 5:41] Sometimes we can wait for things to improve or for the crisis to be over before we get up. Perhaps Jesus is asking us to rise in the presence of our crisis. What keeps us down cannot stop us from rising up in power of Christ’s Word.
We will sometimes experience greater disappointment before we will experience a great miracle. Sometimes we do everything right, yet nothing seems to change and things just get worse. However, we can learn to listen to the voice of Jesus who causes us rise even when our circumstances and people’s opinions try to keep us down. In doing so, we lay the platform under our feet so we can rise!
What doubts do you need to close the door on so that you can rise? Leave your comments below.