Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Waiting for Jesus, part 21: back to reality

He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, "Child, arise!" And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. (Luke 8:54-55 NASB)

Her spirit returned. That means her spirit had left her body. We are not just a jumble of cells. We are physical and spirit, body and soul. In case you have wondered, every human on earth has both a body and a soul, (or spirit). Ultimately, those souls are under the command of Jesus, and one day they will receive direction from Him who cannot be disobeyed. This day, her spirit, just on its way to its eternal destination, was ordered back, and did exactly what it was ordered to do. The spirit returned to the child and she arose. 

This next action of Jesus always makes me laugh. He ordered her some lunch. Well, actually He told them to bring her something to eat. As a physician, when a patient tells me they are "eating better", I take it as a sign of significant improvement. More than likely, encouragement to eat was intended as an indication that her health and her life were restored. She was "real" and not a phantom or a ghost. She wasn't a zombie escaping the grave. She was a real, live girl. Their daughter was back. 

When we have waited through that dark night of our soul for the intervention of God in a desperate and difficult place, it is hard to believe when the answer, the intervention, finally comes. The grace of God is so amazing that it is hard to comprehend.  How do you respond to the truly miraculous? In this instance, apparently, they responded with food for the little girl. Nourishment. 

There are two important lessons from this. First is that, when God restores in a miraculous way, we still have to return to our "regular" lives, with the mundane tasks of living. In this instance, Mrs. Jairus had to leave the site of the miracle and prepare food.  We have to carry on while taking that miracle with us. We return to the routine, but we are to return permanently changed by what God has done. 

Second, when God restores our souls, nourishment should be uppermost on our minds. When Jesus called for food, you can be sure her mother did not bring dessert. She brought the most nourishing food in the house. So we, too, should be providing the most nourishing spiritual food possible for those whose lives have been restored by Christ, and that will come only from the Word of God. 

Perhaps it is a reminder for us as well. Nourishment is vital for both our physical and our spiritual health, and we should choose that nourishment well. What does your spiritual diet include? Do you have a steady diet of Bible study and quiet time with our Lord? There is a place for spiritual books, magazines, websites, and blogs, but nothing should replace the Word of God, the entree of Scripture. Everything else is a side dish or dessert. 

How is your spiritual diet? After her miracle, the girl needed nourishment to carry on, and we do, too. Let's make sure we get the spiritual food we desperately need.