Faith in the Waiting

A ruler came and knelt before Jesus and said, "My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her and she will live." Jesus got up and went with him... Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His garment. Jesus turned and saw her.
excerpt: Matthew 9:18-26
cf. Luke 8:40-56 and Mark 5:21-43

It's a small moment, imperceptible to everyone but you.

The moment when you lose hope. The moment when the light behind your eyes dim and the door to your heart closes shut.

A moment you replay in your head until it numbs the rage, the disappointment, the frustration surging through your veins into a cool indifference.

A moment where you were certain that one thing was going to happen but something else interrupted your thing and now you don't think it's going to happen at all.

It's a moment that I am all too familiar with.

It's a sucky moment to experience.

It's one of the reasons why I like isolation. When you're alone, when you don't have to see people get what you have been praying for, it's easier to deal with waiting.

Doubt and comparison don't bog you down. Insecurities don't crop up and strangle your dreams. You can wait without worrying.

But, we're surrounded by people. And we live on multiple timelines of social media. And we have eyes. We can see people get what we have been waiting for and the damning thoughts come up when we see
The girl who gets the boy
She's much prettier than me. Maybe that's why I'm still single.
The airplane tickets to Europe    
That's his third trip this year. I will never be able to save up enough money to travel.
The positive pregnancy test
They just got married and weren't even trying. We've been trying for years.
The new house
She has so much more room. I feel suffocated in my tiny apartment.
The bonus at work
When will I be rewarded for the work I've put in this company? 
The list can go on and on. And as the tally goes up, your expectancy, your hope decreases just so you don't have to experience the heart wrenching let down that's sure to follow when that thing you've been praying for doesn't come through again.

But what if your answer, the key to unlock your prayers, the end goal, just rolled up on the shores one day?

What would you do? Will you go after it, when it's so clearly in view?

What would you do when you see the answered prayer within reach but everyone else and their mamas within a 50 mile radius also see its approach? What would you do when a crowd surrounds the thing you've been waiting for?

That's what happened when Jesus entered any scene. He attracted the multitudes wherever He went. Even when He wanted to be alone with His crew, people just showed up expecting miracles and sermons.

And Jesus delivered: so much so that one time He provided lunch for 5,000+ people from seven loaves and two fish.

When people saw Jesus, they forgot what personal space was and pressed into Him on all sides. They just knew He had something to give and they wanted it.

And sometimes their need would form an impenetrable wall around Jesus. But that fact didn't deter two people who were in desperate need the day Jesus came back to his hometown.

One man, named Jarius, was a synagogue leader, whose daughter was dying. The crowd probably split open for him to fall easily at Jesus' feet to plead for His assistance. After all, who would deny a town leader access to the Savior? Jesus hears his pleas and agrees to come and heal his daughter and on their way to Jarius' house, someone intercepts.

This someone is a woman who has had the issue of blood for twelve years. Back in those days when a woman menstruated, she was considered to be unclean and had to isolate herself for the duration of her period. This woman had to bear that stigma for twelve years nonstop, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. She was shunned from her community and avoided at all cost. Because obviously menstruation is contagious...

(eyes rolling out my head and rolling down the street)

She probably has tried everything twice, three times for good measure, by the time Jesus comes. And she's probably heard the stories of the amazing blessings He's bestowed on people by the time He shows up. So, she comes to the conclusion that she needs what He has: she has to get it.

But the woman couldn't take the Jarius' approach: bold and direct. She didn't have his status at all. (She doesn't even have a name in the Bible!) If people saw her coming, they would sneer and snap at her to stop with the foolish thinking, that the Lord would have nothing to do with the likes of her.

And say that they did part a way as to avoid catching what she was carrying, who's to say that Jesus wouldn't take one look at her and turn His nose up at her? Who's to say that He wouldn't shun her as well, like everyone else has done for the past twelve years? Who's to say that He's nothing like them?

The woman isn't willing to find out. She's waited too long for her miracle and she's not going to forfeit. So using the crowd as a cover, she pushes through to touch the hem of His cloak, because surely the power He carries must seep into everything that touches Him?

Have you ever been that desperate? To think that something inanimate could change your life just because it belongs to the Person who could actually implement the change?

Her desperate thinking works. The instant she touches His hem, the power leaves Him and heals her. She feels the change immediately but the joy bubbling inside her stops short because she's not the only one who notices.

Jesus has felt it too. And He's making a scene about it as well, asking, "Who touched Me?"

Oh Jesus... (eyes roll into another city)

He's in the middle of a mob, random hands touching Him as He passed by. But none of those hands touched Him with the faith that nameless outcast of a woman had: she believed that His hem would heal her. That's amazing faith!

Of course that wouldn't slip His radar.

When the woman realizes she couldn't go unnoticed any longer, she steps forward and Jesus turns to her.

And He doesn't do what she fears. He doesn't do what the people surrounding Him expect.

He turns to her and blesses her. That simple, but profound, act shows something that God wants to remind those who've felt as if they've been disqualified, who've felt unworthy, who've felt as if they have become desperate in their waiting: God is willing.

He has not forgotten about you. He is not far from you. Whatever is happening with you, God sees and God knows and God is so willing to help you. Your waiting on Him is not in vain. He won't turn away from you when you call out His name. He will turn to you willingly.

But what if you're not like the woman with the issue of blood? What if you're like Jarius, who was upfront about his need? Who didn't sneak around because he didn't have anything to be ashamed about? Who was a upstanding citizen, a leader in the town who also desperately needed Jesus' help? And once he got Jesus' attention and was on His way to help out, he got highjacked on the way by someone else?

And what's worst is that by the time Jesus was done with the woman, one of Jarius' servants came to announce that his daughter was dead. There was no need to bother the Master any longer.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been cheated out of your blessing? Have you missed the chance to get your blessing?

You did everything right but something happened and the opportune time, situation, person passed you by.

Well, God also wants to say to those who have felt that way that He is able. Our God is limitless. Our God is the Source. It all starts with Him. Our God has no end. Our God is not bound by time and His power does not yield to death. He wants to remind you that no one can tap Him dry, no one can exhaust Him, He hasn't spent Himself, He is never late. Never!

No one can ever steal your blessing. If it hasn't happened yet, it means that He's still on His way.

Wherever you find yourself today, remember that it is never in vain to wait, to hope and to trust in the Lord. He is willing and able and He is coming. Don't give up no matter how long it has been.

He wants to do it! He will do it! He is able to do it!

And for those who have dreams, hopes and faith buried and long forgotten, just know that Jarius' daughter came back to life once Jesus touched her hand.

It's time to dig up those bones.

As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you...
Do not be afraid... Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard...
excerpts from Daniel 9:23, 10:12

1 comment

  1. You're a great writer! I looked at this post and said 'this is way too long for me', but once I started reading your words captivated me and it was done to soon. Thanks for sharing!