Saturday, September 6, 2014

Waiting on Jesus, part 17: thinning the Crowd

When He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl's father and mother. Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her; but He said, "Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep." And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died. (Luke 8:51-53 NASB)

The girl was dead. Everyone knew it. They had seen dead people before, and she was dead. That's what the messenger had told Jairus, and he had no reason to doubt it. He was heartbroken. Poor Jairus had done everything he knew to do, but that woman with the hemorrhage had sneaked up from behind, waylaid Jesus, and kept Him from healing his daughter. If he hadn't been so sad, he'd have been furious. 

It was odd that the announcement of her death didn't slow Jesus down. He kept right on heading to Jairus' house, as if He could actually help. Well, maybe He could, Jairus must have thought. Maybe He would tell them about how to live with this grief. 

When they got to the house, Jesus did an odd thing. He narrowed down the participants. Peter, John, and James could go in with Him. Jairus and his wife could go in with Him. Everyone else, including the rest of the apostles, had to stay outside. They didn't like it much. After all, seeing Jesus work was always dramatic and fun. It was always good for a story that could be retold for years. No one wanted to stay outside, but He was firm. Five people and no more. 

Why? Why did He limit the number of people who could see the miracle in person? Scripture doesn't tell us, but maybe He limited the number of observers to increase the likelihood of getting the story straight. Jesus was about to do something amazing, and He had done it before. He was about to bring a dead child back to life. That story would be told over and over again for years. Every observer would tell their version of the story. The fewer observers, the fewer versions. Maybe what He wanted was for the story to be told exactly the way it happened. Perhaps, though, He not only wanted the story to be told accurately. Perhaps He wanted that story to "belong" to Jairus and his wife, rather than the crowd. Jairus had waited for Jesus, and Jesus was about to do something that would make the waiting worthwhile. 

Our very personal God often moves in our lives in very personal, intimate ways. He moves in ways few others can see, doesn't He? The paucity of observers does not make the move of God any less real. What it does is give us a testimony to God's power that no one else can tell. He entrusts us with our personal testimony of grace, just as we entrust Him with our utterly hopeless situation. It then becomes our responsibility, as well as our blessing, to tell our story of grace to all who will listen. 

We are not yet at the point where Jairus knows what Jesus will do. At this point, the crowd had thinned to five, and Jairus had less comfort and support from friends and family than he'd ever had. In a way, all He really had was a hopeless situation and Jesus. We will soon see that it was all he needed, and he will have a marvelous story to tell.  

Are you facing a hopeless situation in your personal life?  With your loved ones?  Has the crowd of supporters around you decreased to just a few?  Perhaps what you have is a miraculous move of God just beginning to unfold. When it does, you will have a testimony of grace that no one else can tell. 

Maybe you've already gone through that dark night of your soul, where hope is gone and the way seems filled with despair. Maybe you already have a personal testimony of private grace. If you do, remember that the testimony is not for you alone. Tell what God has done for you. Tell it and retell it. You will find that, in the telling, you will experience that flood of grace all over again. 

Don't miss last night's Friday Night with Friends by Mamie the Apprentice Wonder Puppy, writing about the joy of kissing! Here's the link: