Twelve years. A lot can happen in that time span. The once plump cheeked baby who rocked your world turns into a preteen. A marriage has had enough time to go through the inevitable “ups and downs”. Degrees can be earned, even mastered. Friendships grow deeper. Dreams can come to fruition and new dreams can spring up. Hair can turn grey. A mortgage can shrink considerably. Retirement can set in. Grandbabies can come. Children can start and finish school. Yes, a lot can happen in twelve years. That’s how long the un-named woman in Luke 8 suffered without remedy. She was paraded to the very best doctors in Palestine but to no avail. None could figure out how to stop her suffering. For twelve long years, nothing happened, no cure-just more suffering. She was sick; sick of suffering.
This suffering had cost this woman everything. “She had spent much…”. It had drained all her resources. She had done all she could to rid herself of this perilous plight she was in. After twelve years, she was spent. And that’s the place where Christs power is best executed; desperation. As the crowd pressed in closer and closer to Christ, she watched as her chance to be healed passed her by. There was a great barrier between her and the One who had the ability to heal her. The crowd kept growing, as people began knocking into each other. It looked impossible for her to get near Him. But she pressed on until finally her weak, pail fingers came in contact with His dusty earthen garment and power surged through her wore out frame. What the doctors could not do in twelve years, Jesus did with a touch. The power of God met this woman’s suffering and all it took was one touch.
Despair is often what moves us, what causes us to push through the obstacles in front of us and reach out for Jesus. Without desperation, we would become self-sufficient. We would fix everything ourselves, we wouldn’t seek Jesus and reach out for Him because we had all we needed in our own strength. And because we had nothing to drive us to His feet, we would miss His power being displayed through our weakness. You see desperation is not always bad, it sets the stage for the miraculous.
Twelve years. Jairus knew all too well how quickly those years can fly by. In the same section of verses we find his story. His daughter, his only child, was twelve and she was deathly sick. And now it seemed as though her life would end a that twelve-year mark. No more birthday parties. No more baking lessons or shopping for a new dress. No, this seemed to be the end. Yes, a lot can happen in twelve years.
“Now Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed Him, for they were all waiting on Him.”
Jairus was waiting. Waiting on this one they called Jesus to come his way. Waiting for his chance to bring him to the deathbed of his twelve-year-old daughter. Waiting can be one of the most demanding aspects of life. We all will find ourselves here, in the sandals of Jairus; anxiously awaiting a miracle. As he waited, his daughter grew sicker still, for he had no resource that could help her. He was helpless. His hands were tied, so he did the only thing he could; Jairus waited, desperate for this one who could save his daughter.
Desperation not only pushes us to Jesus but it will also brings with it a realization that we are out of resources, there is nothing we can do in our natural self but wait on Jesus.
Jesus arrived, just like He always does, He showed up in the middle of Jairus’s desperation.
Jairus escorted the Miracle Man to his home, as they pushed through the crowd, a face appeared that Jairus did not want to see, it was a familiar face, someone from his homestead was coming toward them. “Your daughter is dead, do not trouble the teacher anymore.”
Dead? Then it was too late. Jesus was too late.
What happens when a “cause” dies? What happens when the reason you are doing what your doing aburbtly stops? when whatever “cause” you were fighting so hard for shrivels up and stops pulsating with opportunity? Those moments in life when it feels like it’s the end, like Jesus was too late, like the circumstances are too far gone, like there is no hope.
In that moment Jairus had a choice; his “cause” (his reason for fighting) could die with his daughter OR he could believe and keep going on. He chose to march forward, even though people were telling him it was a lost cause; you can’t heal the dead, they reasoned, but faith declares that while you may not can heal the dead you can resurrect the dead.
A lot can happen in twelve years. Dreams can die, hope can be drained, the soul can be crushed. Those things usually start with a death. Not a physical death but one that can be just as devestating; the death of hope. The loss of hope usually starts in the physical realm but the effects weigh in on the inner man. A loss of a job, a rejection letter from a college, a breakup, a prayer unanswered, an opportunity wasted, dreams that just never came true…and somewhere along the way our hope gets beat to a bloody pulp and it turns over and gives up the ghost. The last words hope will whisper before it gives up is: what’s the point if the “cause” is lost?
Have you ever had a “cause” get lost somewhere along the way? Is your hope dead? Then let this scream to the recesses of your heart….
It is never too late with Jesus. A “cause” is never really lost when Jesus is involved
Proverbs 13:12 says that “hope deferred makes the heart sick but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Nothing strangles out our hope like unsanctified longings. Longings of the flesh are poisonous, for they are tainted by self and resist the cleansing of Jesus. Jairus’ hope was safe because it rested on the person of Jesus, not on a “cause”.
Jesus was after something bigger than Jairus could imagine. Instead of a healing the twelve-year-old girl, Jesus would raise her from beyond the grave. So many of our desperate situations go on without any solution. Not because Jesus didn’t show up but because we gave up too soon. What seems to be too late in the natural realm is prime and ready for the miraculous. When a healing doesn’t come, Jesus is setting you up for a resurrection.
Jesus assuringly kept walking on toward the home of the dead child. “Do not fear, only believe and she will be well.” Jairus followed…because his hope was still alive despite the death of his cause.
Desperation will cause us to reach out for help, but even more than that desperation is the place where pure, raw, adulterated faith grows. It’s in the places of ruin, the places where all our self-security is taken, that true faith bubbles to the surface. The wreckage that brings about desperation is a place of self-emptying and humility. It is also the place where Gods power is most greatly demonstrated because we are spent; we have nothing left to give.
One of Paul’s most famous verses that fell out of his anointed quill was 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”:
Paul had a thorn in the flesh, something that emptied himself. This “thorn” was some sort of weakness in the Super Apostle’s life that drained him of all his resources.
It’s when we are depleted and desperate that God’s power can reach its full effect in our lives.
Power in the Greek is dunamis. It is where we get our English word dynamite from. This word is used countless times in regard to the miracles Christ performed on earth and is used to demonstrate the kind of influence Christ has in, on, and through the believer’s life through the Holy Spirit. Simply put It is accomplishing power over resistance. Paul speaks of this power in Ephesians 1 as the same power that raised Jesus from the grave. This power that has been bestowed on us through the Spirit has the capacity and the ability to blow down every and any wall of resistance that stands before us. It is limitless in its ability and effect. Nothing holds a crushing blow on humanity like death. Nothing. As Jesus laid cold in the tomb, death had seemed to be victorious. Yet, on the third day, this same power coursed through the lifeless corpse of the Darling of Heaven. His lungs filled up with air, His heart jumped back into rhythm, His cheeks regained their color and He shot up from that burial clothe and life exploded out of that tomb, overcoming the resistance of sin and the grave. Resurrection power. The power that energizes the dead, breathes life into dry bones, sets a heart back in motion…this power…is yours.
This power is made perfect in weakness, however, it will not be activated apart from faith. The number twelve is not the only thing the woman and Jairus had in common. They were kindred of faith; they believed. The suffering woman was only one among many. Peter even exclaimed how many people were pressing into Jesus when Christ said “Someone touched me….I perceive that power has left me…” Peter said “Master, the crowds are pressing in on you…” Many wanted a miracle. She wasn’t the only one who was desperate, but she was the only one recorded who pressed in WITH FAITH. The power was there for all-yet only one was marked by it. Desperation without faith will leave us hopeless, desperation coupled alongside faith brings a power surge to our weakness.
So, I’ll leave you with this question; Is there a power shortage in your life? The supply has been given, but it’s only when this power supply is tapped into by faith that the evidence marks you and “causes” start resurrecting.
Many of us need this resurrected “cause”. May the “reason” why we fight receive the breath of life and walk out of the tomb of hopelessness and into the land of the living.