Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.
I’m writing this post on the United States’ election day. When you read it, you’ll know much more about who may be the next U.S. president. There’s a lot of anxiety and fear swirling around the world right now because of this election. Unfortunately, so much of it is based on misinformation or downright disinformation. And a lot of it is designed to create fear and distrust. What’s so different for me this presidential election is the peace I have, which is solely due to my trust in God. I am not afraid; I just believe.
In Mark’s retelling of Jesus bringing this young girl back to life he starts out with her father, a leader in the synagogue, coming to a large gathering around Jesus. He urgently pleaded with Jesus to come and heal his sick daughter. He believed that just by touching his daughter, Jesus will heal her. As Jesus walks through the crowds towards the man’s house a woman, who had been bleeding for 12 years, reached out and touched Jesus’ clothes. She thought:
“If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”Mark 5:27
Jesus knew at once that someone had put their faith in him. He turned to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” (Mark 5:30) Of course, a lot of people had probably touched him because they were all crowding around Him. We so often want to be “fans” of Jesus, His groupies. But how often do we turn to Him in complete and total surrender and ask for His healing power, His peace? How often do we put limits on His ability to “make all things work together for our good?” (Romans 8:28). In fact, the simple act of turning to the crowd, searching for the woman who touched Him, caused the disciples and friends of the girl’s father to be almost annoyed. He was taking time away from what he “should” have been doing which was healing the girl. In other words, we think Jesus as all knowing, all powerful and yet in the same breath assume he can’t do all things.
We should not be so astonished, so amazed that Jesus can, by just being, heal us. We should not be so astonished that He also chooses to take action in His time. If we believe and have faith in the truths of the Bible, we must expect that, if Jesus can raise a little girl from the dead, if he can raise Lazarus from being many days dead, then He can handle anything else this world throws at Him.
This knowledge and trust is what has brought me through, not only this election season, but through the unrest brought on by Covid19. Each time I try and take back my fears and worries I am reminded in my Bible studies and through my amazing Christian relationships that peace can only be fully achieved by placing those fears back in God’s hands. A good friend has been completely transformed this year through this same process. My BSGs (Bible Study Girls) were reflecting today about how few times this friend speaks of “her anxiety” — which she used to wear like a favorite coat. Imagine that – with all the mess that is 2020 her anxiety has all but disappeared. Pretty amazing. Those trials and tribulations that James writes of have been hammered home this year.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”James 1:2-3
Have you taken these “opportunities” of trials to grow in your faith? To grow closer to God? To grasp the promise of Jesus’s peace? Another of my BSGs, who in a difficult trial, begged for God’s help and felt that peace descend over her. She described it as a weighted blanket – warm and calming. Isn’t that more of what we want rather than living in constant disarray, discombobulation and wailing?
So, as I wait for the results of this important election, I use each time my mind wants to lean into worry to instead lean into Jesus’ words – “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” And His amazing peace never fails to come over me.
The Lord bless me and keep me; the Lord makes his face shine on me and is gracious to me; the Lord turns His face toward me and gives me PEACE.Numbers 6:22-26