Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tuesday's with Jesus #68

#68 "God's Delays Are Not God's Denials"
October 17, 2006
Read Mark 5: 21-43
Jairus's only daughter was dying. He pleaded with Jesus to come and put His hands on her so that she might be healed. Literally, the word "pleaded" means that he "begged much". He kept begging perhaps repeatedly and desperately. Mark's Greek vividly portrays the anguish of this poor father as he pleads with broken phrases: "My little daughter is lying at death's door..that you may come and..." The Bible tells us that Jesus went with him. But along the way, Jesus was interrupted by a woman with an issue of blood. She had been suffering from some type of chronic menstrual disorder or a uterine hemorrhage for 12 years and she had heard about Jesus' healing power. After she touched the hem of His garment, Jesus knew that healing power had gone from Him. He stopped. He asked questions. The woman answered and He spoke to her. He assured her that her healing was permanent and complete, acknowledged her faith and trust in Him and sent her on her way. This all took time. Time that Jairus did not have. His daughter was dying, for goodness sake, and Jesus was taking time out for someone else! 
Have you been "begging much" for something? Have you been waiting for an answer to a prayer? More importantly, have you been watching other people get the answer to the very prayers you have been waiting for? You've been believing God for your healing and someone else gets a clean bill of health. You've been asking for that special someone to come along while you watch all of your friends getting married. You've been believing for a car and worse yet, you watch your enemy drive their new car around town. It seems that everyone has a praise report except for you. Everyone's prayers are getting answered and you are still "begging much." You are asking "God, what am I doing wrong? Why the delay?" You are figuratively "dying" and Jesus is taking His time out for someone else!
I can just see Jairus tapping his feet with impatience and wondering why they had to stop on the road now. He thought that Jesus was going to help his daughter, right then, right now, but instead ... delay. Inside he was probably screaming, "Don't you people know that we're in an urgent situation right now? We must keep moving. My daughter...my daughter! Jesus, let's go!" The delay caused by the woman's healing was a severe test of Jairus' faith. 
You may be in an urgent situation today. The electricity is about to be shut off. The lay off is around the corner and you don't have another job. Someone you love is getting sicker and sicker. Your spouse is packing her bags. And you sit stoically as you hear about other people's blessings and answers to prayer. You sit stoically in the center of delay. It seems that God has forgotten your situation and moved His attention to someone else. You smile and say, "Praise the Lord" when your friend tells you their good news. But you have to admit that twinge of jealousy there deep inside. That envy. Maybe even anger that God seems to be overlooking your problem and focusing on someone else. "Come on, God...I need your help, right now!"
The people come and tell Jairus not to bother the Teacher any more because his daughter has died. See there. Jesus delayed. All hope is gone. That woman got her blessing but my daughter is dead! His fears in the delay were confirmed. Any hope that Jesus could help was gone. People were talking. Saying there was no hope. It was too late. Let Jesus go on His way. But the Bible says that Jesus ignored what they said. He refused to accept the implications of their words. The force of the word "ignoring" means "refused to listen". Jesus refused to listen!
Refuse to listen to those people around you who say there's no hope. Ignore the whispers of the devil in your ear that tell you that Jesus forgot about you and that He loves someone else better than you. The devil is a liar! Hear Jesus say to you, "Don't be afraid; just believe. Stop fearing in unbelief; just keep on believing." You, like Jairus, exercised your faith by going to Jesus in the first place. You, like Jairus, have witnessed the relationship between faith and Jesus' power in someone else's life. Believe that God is no respecter of persons. (Romans 2: 11) What God can do for Jairus, He can do for you. Believe that Jesus can restore your lifeless situation like Jesus exhorted Jairus to believe that He could restore his lifeless daughter. Don't forsake your previous faith that you had when you went to Jesus in the first place.   
And restore her He did! There was enough of Jesus' power to go around. He didn't use it all up on the woman with the issue of blood. There was still an abundant supply left for Jairus' daughter to be raised from the dead. Jesus' delay was not a denial. What appeared to be a disastrous delay in the healing of the woman actually assured the restoration of Jairus' daughter. It was providentially ordered to test and strengthen Jairus' faith. And today, there is enough of Jesus' power left for your situation, no matter how many others He has blessed before you. He hasn't used it all up on them! His delay is NOT His denial!  
We know that God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways higher than our ways (Isaiah 55: 8-9) His purposes are still His own Glory and the strengthening of our faith. Yes, He wants to help us in our distress but He has higher purposes in mind. And I believe He will take care of those purposes first. And maybe even before we see the answer we've been yearning for. And what a test of our true character and faith, when we see others blessed, provided for, healed, restored, redeemed, while we are still waiting for our answer to come. It really shows our true colors, so to speak. Remember that jealousy and envy are listed in Galatians, Chapter 5 as "acts of the sinful nature." Don't be jealous. Don't feel slighted. Don't think God has overlooked you for someone with "more faith." These are lies of the devil, straight from the pits of hell.
Jesus doesn't get side-tracked. He doesn't forget because He's been distracted. He knows about your need...about your problem...He's heard your prayer. And He is on His way with your answer. Don't get discouraged if He stops along the way and helps some of His other children. He loves them too, you know. There's enough of His blood, His Holy Spirit and His power to go around. Enough for you and for me. And remember, God's delays are NOT God's denials. The story of Jairus' daughter proves that to us today.
Donna Schultz
~ One Night with the King ~ The Story of Esther ~ Did you go? If you did, let me know what you thought. I thought it was fabulous, anointed, beyond description! Remember that one night with the king changes everything!
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