By Esther Blair
Have you ever found yourself in a season you never expected, and you feel desperate? Desperate to the point that you are pleading for an answer, for help, for God to show up? Maybe it’s an unforeseen event, or it’s something that’s been building—a sudden disaster, a bad report from a doctor, financial burdens, an unresolved conflict causing strife with someone you love, or worry and fear keeping you from enjoying your present season. At some point and in some form or another, we all find ourselves in this unexpected place. And this is where we find a man named Jairus in the gospel of Luke. His daughter is dying, and he goes to Jesus to plead for His help.
Jesus not only listens, but He also intentionally leaves a large crowd to go to Jairus’s house. Jesus starts to follow him but as He is on His way, He is interrupted by a woman who touches the edge of His cloak and is instantly healed. Jesus stops on His way to Jairus’ house and speaks to the woman who had been healed of the issue of blood. Luke 8:40-49 tells us:
Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped… While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”
Have you ever felt deep disappointment? Disappointment that leaves you feeling defeated and hopeless? In verse 49, while Jesus was still speaking to the woman, Jairus was told that his daughter had died and there was no reason to bother Jesus now.
Imagine the grief and frustration he must have felt at that moment. He was so close to getting Jesus to his house. They were on their way! Imagine the disappointment. Imagine the resentment toward the woman who was healed instead. And then they told him not to bother, for she was already dead.
It’s easy to think God is caring for everyone but us when we are in the middle of a difficult season. We ask, “God, what about my promise? I thought you were on your way for me.” It’s easy to think that it’s too late, that there might not be enough to go around, that if a miracle happens for our neighbor, it won’t happen for us.
But Jesus showed himself to be much more than Jairus thought. Jesus said to him at that moment, “Don’t be afraid,” and He insisted they still go to Jairus’s house. Jesus hadn’t made a mistake. His timing wasn’t off. He hadn’t forgotten. Luke 8:50 says, “Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.'” Even when we think all hope is lost, even when things seem to be dead, even when time no longer seems to be on our side, Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid. Let’s go together.”
Fear, doubt, disappointment, worry, even death—these things don’t hinder God or His promises for us. Even if we can’t see it, we can be confident that God is working on the story of our lives in a way that will bring Him glory. If Jairus had said, “No, Jesus, just stay here. It’s too late,” and walked away alone, maybe his story would have been different. Maybe a miracle wouldn’t have taken place. Maybe he would have lived with resentment and frustration and disappointment.
We all have times when we are tempted to tap out. Maybe we’re afraid of what it costs to hold on by that last bit of hope. On the other hand, what would it cost us to give up? Are numbness, anger, distraction, resentment, or self-constructed efforts better options?
Jairus said yes to Jesus, asking Him into his life and world. Even though he didn’t think there was much that could be done at that point, he wanted Him to come to his home. He still went with Jesus with what I can imagine was a very broken heart. Like Jairus, what if we could be humble and brave enough to trust God’s character in a way that looks different—and probably feels harder—than we ever imagined?
Amidst doubt and disappointment, Jesus performed a miracle, and Jairus’s daughter was brought back to life. If it seems like everything is lost, if you’re not sure how things are going to turn around—keep saying yes to Jesus. Say yes to him when it doesn’t make sense, when it doesn’t look like what you thought, when you’re frustrated, or when you’re not sure how it’s going to be ok. Go with Jesus in your heartbreak, despair, hurt, and worry.
Here is our hope: God isn’t surprised by our fear; He just asks us to believe and to walk with Him. The only thing you have to do is to have the courage to say yes to Jesus—to believe that His promises are true—the rest will be for God’s glory.