Fear twists us up. And there are many frightening events in life that do twist and turn our hearts. Some of those are very real, and it’s understandable that a person would be afraid in certain situations.
Take losing your daughter for example. It’s one thing if you’re Liam Neeson and your daughter has been “Taken.” But it’s entirely another thing if you’re not Liam Neeson.
What if you’re just an average joe in Jesus’ day? Your daughter has become suddenly and seriously ill, and she is beginning to look like she’s not going to survive. You rush out seeking help.
You are a man of faith. In fact, you’re a leader in your local church. And you’ve heard about Jesus and the healings he has performed. You find him and you prevail upon him to come with you. Quickly.
There’s a momentary glimmer of hope.
But as you near home, you’re greeted with devastating news. Your daughter is already dead. The messengers have brought the worst possible news. It’s too late. You took too long.
Or at least it seems that way until Jesus speaks to you.
“Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe'” (Mark 5:36, NIV).
If you’ve heard the rest of the story, you know quite well that despite the resistance, the laughter, and the mockery of those around him, Jairus listens to Jesus. Instead of giving up, Jairus simply follows Jesus and finishes the journey back to his home. Together they head straight into his daughter’s bedroom.
There he witnesses Jesus raise his daughter from the dead! A simple act of following Jesus, one footstep at a time, results in the most amazing of miracles.
Faith conquers fear, not all at once, but step by step. One can hardly imagine Jairus’ joy and astonishment.
Jesus spoke. Jairus followed. One step at a time. Don’t be afraid. Just believe.
Our Bible reading for Friday, February 20, is Exodus 27:1 – 28:43, Mark 5:21 – 6:6a and Psalm 24:1-10.
Lord, grant me faith by your Spirit’s power. I am not capable of this man’s faith. I fall far short, and I am sorry for my lack of faith and all too ready willingness to go with fear instead. Forgive me. Direct my eyes to you, Jesus, to your immense power and your limitless love for me. Help me not be afraid. Help me just believe.
Header image based on "Steps" by Pinera, CC By-SA 2.0