Friends, I have missed blogging!! I have been taking some time to go back to the basics, connect with God and pray about what he wants me to do. I am not sure about everything yet, but one thing I know — I want to continue communicating with whoever would like to listen.
So I’ve been reading through Mark, and here is the scripture I looked at today:
When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. (Mark 5:21-28)
Actually, I read the whole passage through verse 43, where Jesus heals Jairus’s daughter. But I don’t want to put the whole thing here, so read it on your own if you like.
But what this passage made me think about is how Jesus got to be a part of other people’s stories, and how we also are often in one another’s stories. That is what my weekend was about. Travis graduated from Tuskegee, and it made me feel so nostalgic. I have so many pictures in my mind of his time here, so many good memories. It makes my heart overflow. What a privilege it is to be a part of someone’s story! How awesome it is when they are a part of yours! And Travis has very much been a part of the story of our church. In some ways, he has been our church, because it is he who, through God, really got the Tuskegee ministry going.
So in the passage above, one story Jesus became a part of was that of the synogogue ruler, Jairus, who had a little daughter who was very ill. Jairus must have been so distraught, going out of his mind with worry. He was an important man, and that makes it all the more amazing that he could come to Jesus and humble himself in this way, by bowing down before Jesus and pleading with him. We read about many religious leaders who are too filled with pride to have faith, and Jesus blasts them. It’s good to see that there are other religious leaders who do get it. And humility has got to be key, the ability to humble yourself and grovel.
That’s something I am finally learning and working on. I realized that one of the hardest things for me to sacrifice is my glory. Even in being a Christian, I can give things up, and feel good about myself because I can tell myself that I am good. So normal sacrifice doesn’t seem like a sacrifice to me sometimes. But giving up feeling good about myself, now that is something else! One thing I’m doing is not letting myself look in the mirror. Don’t think I’m crazy — this really helps me! I am loving focusing on God getting the glory, and not me.
But on to other things in the passage. We know that the daughter of Jairus got healed. Jesus is in the healing business, and it is so cool. We think that was back then, but Jesus is still in the healing business. My friend Jessica shared on Sunday about how she really wanted to have a baby, but she was so fearful that she couldn’t have one, because of her past sins, and other challenges she had. Then, when she got pregnant, she was fearful that the baby would be healthy, because she had to be on medication. But she said she held to the scripture in Hebrews 11 where the Bible says that faith is the substance of things not seen. She couldn’t see her baby, but she believed that this was the baby she had been praying for, and that God would give her just the baby she needed. And this prayer came true!
That is another thing that made me nostalgic this weekend. It has been so special to be a part of Jessica and Julio’s story, and to see how God has worked in their lives. Is there anything better? Sometimes I look at the times when Jesus dropped what he was doing and went to heal someone. It is so hard for me to change my schedule, I get stuck on my agenda. But Jesus would just go at the drop of a hat. Surely part of his motivation was that he loved being a part of the stories that God was writing with people’s lives.
And Jesus responded to faith! That got him going every time! How much do I approach Jesus with faith like that? I mean, the bleeding woman just had to touch his cloak. He didn’t even interact with her. That’s how powerful faith is. Do I believe that? As I’ve been studying Mark, I am seeing more and more how important it is to WORK to have faith. I think sometimes we just think we’re going to have it. We’ve got to make an effort to let the word sink into our hearts. We’ve got to wrestle with our stuff and decide to believe.
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29
That’s all I have time for right now. But I hope to keep sharing my life and what I’m learning in these quickly written blogs. Look for more soon. God writes the best stories, and I can’t wait to relate more of them to you!