Don't be afraid, just keep trusting...
In the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Mark, we read the story of a man who's daughter is near death. Desperate for a miracle, this man presents himself at the feet of Yeshua (Jesus) and begs him to come to his home and heal the girl. On the way to the home, friends meet Yeshua and the father, informing them that the girl has died. However, instead of changing his course of direction - becoming disillusioned or surprised - Yeshua calmly responds by saying: "Don't be afraid, just keep trusting."
I've read this story many times, and because I know how it ends, I've always skipped over that quote. Certainly, it was easy to count it as an obvious, insignificant statement, because like the LORD, I've always shared faith for what's about to happen (because I've read it!). However, last night, for the first time, I read this quote through the lens of the father. Wow! That changed things. Suddenly I wondered: "What kind of a response is that?! My daughter just died? Can you fix that? Do you care? How am I supposed to keep trusting, when as far as I am concerned, I've just lost someone that is most precious to me?!"
How many of you have experienced that moment with the LORD, before? I certainly have! It's a moment of utter confusion, disappointment, faith-testing, and brokeness: a moment in which everything you think you understand about G-d turns upside-down. And you're left with a knot in your stomach and a head-tilted expression, not unlike that of the RCA dog.
This has actually occurred to me MULTIPLE TIMES, in my life, and I never seem to be prepared for it. Whether it's a relationship, a vision, a task, or a situation, I experience utter despair at the shocking reality of unexpected death. And in that moment, Yeshua speaks (and has spoken) the same phrase to me: keep trusting. And my response is not unlike the father.
Why is this?
Because I am only human. My thinking and my perspective are limited. I am bound by the structure of life and death, success and failure, that I see all around me on a daily basis. But G-d...
He sees and knows on an ETERNAL LEVEL: a level that allows Him to understand that LIFE and DEATH are terms HE instigated. According to my belief (supported in scripture), G-d ALONE has the power to grant or take life. Hence, when He is informed that there has been a death, versus being consulted, He is not shaken. For He knows that only He has the final word on that subject.
Let's resume our reading of the story and find out what happens once our LORD arrives at the home of the family with the "dead" daughter:
When they came to the synagogue official's house, he found a great commotion, with people weeping and wailing loudly. On entering, he said to them, "Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn't dead, she's just asleep!" And they jeered at him. But he put them all outside, took the child's father and mother and those with him, and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand, he said to her, "Talita, kumi!" (which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!"). At once the girl got up and began walking around; she was twelve years old. Everybody was utterly amazed.
So Yeshua (Jesus) considered the girl as simply "sleeping" and raised her to wholeness! He knew, all along, that He would be able to restore her life, from the snares of death, because He understood and walked in the authority given Him by His Father in Heaven.
This LORD is the SAME LORD that we serve today and He is STILL in the business of restoration: maintaining His ability to have the "final word" on whether something is dead or not.
So, be encouraged, today. The LORD knows you. He knows your heart and your mind. He knows your desires and intentions. He knows your fears and your delights and He revels in helping you become THE BEST you can be, as you serve Him on the earth. He is aware of your successes and your failures and though He may allow things to "sleep" for a time, He Alone has the ability to declare them DEAD or ALIVE. So, remember his words - just keep trusting - and their meaning, and allow Him to strengthen you as you wait for His arrival at the door of your disappointment. This is what He intends your heart to hear:
Do not allow your limited understanding to distract you from the One who is control of your destiny. I AM EVERYTHING you need and I ALONE hold the key to the LIFE or DEATH in your situation. Place your hope in ME and I will assess the final outcome. Until that time, do not be afraid: JUST KEEP TRUSTING and I will arrive at JUST THE RIGHT TIME to lift your "sleeping" situation to its wholeness.