As most of the UCB team are now working from home, I have been in touch with them each day, sharing some thoughts that I am rediscovering in my own times with God. For the past few days, I have been reading Mark 5 and looking again at the story of Jairus and how Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead.
Jairus was one of the rulers of the synagogues, and he was also a loving father whose daughter was critically sick to the point of dying. When Jesus saw the situation, his first words were ‘Do not be afraid; only believe.’ And those simple words brought Jairus reassurance in his total despair. Instead of giving up and walking away in total hopelessness, Jairus did the unthinkable. He continued walking in HOPE, despite the seriousness of the situation. Is there a way we can capture this sense of hope too in the middle of the situation our world is facing?
Here are some steps that I believe Jairus took which helped him to experience his breakthrough:
1) Realisation – Jairus realised the gravity of his situation and he intentionally did something about it. The situation was desperate. His little daughter was not only very sick, but she was clearly dying. For me in this Covid-19 crisis, it’s important that we realise the seriousness of the situation and comply with all what we are asked to do. But it is also important that we take our fears and worries to Jesus too.
2) Desperation – Jairus became desperate. I’m sure that after having tried everything humanly possible, he sought Jesus. I think I can understand his pain and frustration, for every day as I watch reports from the media, there is only one word which jumps out at me: desperation. Today, can I encourage you that if you feel desperate, cry out to Jesus.
3) Attention – Jairus’ desperation caused him to focus his attention on Jesus. In the busyness of life, it can be easy to lose our focus, but there is nothing quite like a crisis to remind us that we cannot do this alone and that we need God’s help in everything we do. If you feel today that you have lost your attention and focus on Jesus, you can turn to him now. He is the only one who can provide whatever you need in these difficult times.
4) Position – When Jairus found Jesus, he ‘fell at Jesus’ feet’, which was a sign of acknowledging a higher authority as well as being willing to humble himself. In whatever you are facing, I urge you to approach Jesus and change your position as Jairus did, demonstrating humility and acknowledgement of His authority. Let’s also not forget that as Christians, He has given us the same authority to deal with any situation we face.
5) Compassion – I love the way that Jairus, in his actions and his prayer, demonstrates his compassion. You might be wondering ‘What is the real definition of compassion?’ My own definition is ‘having the awareness of the needs of others, which prompts a compelling desire to meet their needs.’ How great it is to see compassion being displayed across the UK, with hundreds of thousands of people volunteering to help the NHS, their neighbours, strangers they have never met before. These people had compassion stirred up within them, and now they are going out to help meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our society.
6) Intercession – Jairus did not approach Jesus for himself but went to stand in the gap on behalf of his much-loved daughter. I am so impressed by the many prayer initiatives emerging throughout the UK and around the world at the moment. Let’s continue to stand on behalf of the many who cannot pray for themselves throughout this time and boldly believe for healing. Jesus is still the same as He was yesterday, today, and forever.
I hope these few thoughts from my own study encourage you as much as they are encouraging me.