In the gospels of Mark and Luke, we find the story of Jairus.  Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue- what we would consider a “church leader” today.  Jairus had a daughter who was sick “to the point of death”.  He was truly at the end of his resources.

We see that Jairus had heard about Jesus.  Maybe he’d seen him healing the sick.  Maybe he’d just heard stories from friends and neighbors.  Either way, something about what he was hearing rang true to Jairus.  Many were skeptical, especially those working within the synagogue and temple systems.  Jairus, however, had faith in this Jesus.  It was probably budding faith.  There’s no indication that Jairus and Jesus had any previous interactions.  Given that Jairus went on faith and threw himself publicly at Jesus’ feet, you might think that Jesus would say, “Arise, your daughter has been made well.”  We all know Jesus didn’t actually have to go lay his hands on the girl.  Jesus could have said the word and miraculously proven his sovereignty over the universe.  That’s not what happened.

Jesus starts to come with Jairus.  Can you imagine the excitement Jairus must have felt to know that he had obtained the attention of the man who works miracles?  I know that in his mind, this was a done deal.  Jesus was coming, and everything was going to be ok.  But as they press on toward the house, I can hear Jairus’ thoughts going something like this:

“Maybe we should shake a leg, because this crowd is pressing in and really hindering us getting back to the house in a timely fashion.  Shouldn’t Jesus be stepping it up and trying to move a little faster?  Where is Jesus anyway?  What’s he doing?  Is he stopping to talk to someone else?  Did he just heal that woman?  Woah!  We’re on a time table here.  That woman’s probably been waiting years to be healed.  This isn’t a life threatening issue.  Let’s catch up with her later.  Come on Jesus, we’ve got to get moving.”

Do you remember going to the store with your mom or grandmother as a child?  Remember how they would run into someone they knew in the aisle, and then you’d be stuck there talking for what seemed like an eternity?  The most important thing on your agenda that day was probably going home to play outside or read a book, but waiting for that conversation to end was excruciating.  You wanted to go.

For Jairus, this delay was much more serious.  While Jesus was still speaking to the woman, Jairus’ friends appeared and told him, “Your daughter is dead.  There’s no use troubling the teacher now.”  Jairus’ immediate response is not recorded in detail, but I don’t think he had long to process what just happened- maybe there was a look of disbelief or sorrow-because Jesus overheard the conversation, and said, “Be not afraid, only believe.”  I imagine he made eye contact with the sorrow stricken Jairus.  Unspoken words were passed between the two.  The Holy Spirit worked within Jairus’ heart to enable him to continue to have the faith that he so wanted to cling to.

As the story concludes, we find Jesus at the house, bringing the daughter back from the dead.  There is a happy ending for all involved.  Except maybe the daughter.  I have to say that when I die, please don’t petition me back from the dead, because I’m pretty convinced that where I’m going is a lot better than where I am now.  It’s like telling your child you canceled their trip to Disney World with their best friend because you would miss them too much and didn’t want them to go without you.   That thought aside, our happy ending was brought about by the healing of our Lord Jesus through Jairus’ faith.  Jairus must have had incredible faith.

We can easily be angered as we look around and see other people being healed.  Other children remaining healthy.  As we pray for months or years for our child to be touched, we see other miracles going on around us.  “What is Jesus doing?  Did he really stop to get my best friend the job of her dreams while I still wait for my child to learn to speak, or eat, or be healed of cancer?  What is going on?”

You know how Jairus must have felt.

I’m not promising that God will bring our loved ones back from the dead.  I’m not implying “if you just have more faith,” the outcome you are praying for will come to pass.  We can’t force the hand of God.  If we could do that, it would make us little gods- and honestly, I don’t want that kind of responsibility.  What I am saying is this:  “Be not afraid, only believe”.  Whatever your outcome, God has been able to work it through your faith.  And through your faith and God’s omnipotence, your outcome will be something greater than what you imagined.

1 Corinthinans 2:9

However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him