Family makes pain personal. Very personal.
The pain might be erupting from your marriage; it might be related to the welfare (spiritual or physical) of a child.
If it’s family the pain you feel focuses on you like a doctor using a laser beam during eye surgery. You want it gone.
But, that pain can lead to one very good thing.
Jairus (Mark 5) wasn’t just a member of the synagogue, he was a leader of the synagogue. Virtually all of his friends and work colleagues hated the thought of Jesus. They either feared, despised, envied, or were disgusted by Jesus’ words and ministry. That’s why it was so shocking for Jairus to do something none of his acquaintances would ever dream of doing: he fell at Jesus’ feet (a sign of total submission) and begged Him for help.
Jairus’s little girl was very sick, near death, and Jesus was the only One who could help. Suddenly, Jairus was willing to give Jesus another look.
Jairus seeking out Jesus would be similar to Michael Moore kneeling in front of George W. Bush, telling him how wrong he has been to criticize him, and would he please consider his request for a favor?
You may hate a situation in your marriage or family. It may be an ongoing illness. It could be a destructive behavioral pattern. Perhaps it’s an addiction. But you hate it. You hate it so much that if you ever got one wish, you wouldn’t have to even think about what the wish would be.
You’d ask for the hated element to be abolished.
When something we hate in family life makes us seek out Jesus, fall to our knees, and then become dependent beggars, it’s doing a good thing. The thing itself is not good, and I’m not even remotely suggesting God is allowing the hated thing to make us dependent beggars. I’m just saying (nothing less, nothing more) that when something we hate in family life makes us seek out Jesus more earnestly and become a dependent beggar before him, that new posture is a good and holy thing.
I wish I could promise you deliverance, change, or even resolution. Some of you would even accept, “Just tell me how long I have to keep dealing with this.” God promises none of that. But when an unanswered question or an unresolved problem makes us seek His face with a new earnestness; when it turns us from arrogant independents to humble penitents, glory happens.
If you know the story, you know that Jairus’s daughter dies before Jesus gets to her. She goes from sick to dead, and so what do his synagogue friends say? They send someone to Jairus to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” (v. 35) In other words, you have no need for Him, so just get away from Him. If your problem is gone, your need for Him is gone. Come back to us. This is embarrassing. Come back to a life in which Jesus isn’t relevant.
Jesus looked at this synagogue ruler in the first grip of the most intense pain a father can ever know (the death of a child) and says, “Do not fear only believe.”
Believe, Jairus. In Me. (In the original language it’s more accurately represented as, “keep on believing.”)
Jairus had a choice: keep up his independence from Jesus now that hope seemed foolish, or hang on for one more season of belief. Suspend doubt. You started to believe, now keep on believing. Trust Jesus instead of rejecting or neglecting Him.
Jairus chose trust. Jairus chose humiliation: he led Jesus to his house. No hiding his trust now! His friends laughed at what Jesus had to say to them. They laughed! But still, Jairus, leader of the synagogue that saw Jesus as their worst enemy, led Jesus into the interior of his house.
And his little girl lived.
That’s the Jairus life: keep on believing. Keep on seeking. Keep on asking. Keep bowing. Keep begging.
If you’re facing a “Jairus moment,” I pray God will use this post to keep you on your knees before Him, to keep believing, at least in Him, even if you can’t fully believe in resolution. Let a bad thing lead to a very good thing, no matter how long it takes.