Don’t Be Afraid, Just Believe

I had every intention of reading in Romans this morning. I sat down in my freshly organized office-space (Thanks Quarantine) hunting for some hope.
More intentionally than usual, I asked God to give me something good.
Something to cling to.
Something to claim.

I paused, looked up, and saw this:

IMG-0667

This cute Burke’s Outlet find has been collecting dust on this bookshelf for months, but today it became a source of calm confidence.

“Don’t be afraid, just believe.”

You see, yesterday I had my first “moment” and went into pure panic. At 38 weeks with my first baby, isolation isn’t exactly ideal. In need of help and hope this morning, I ditched Romans (I’ll be back) and flipped to Mark 5:35-43. Jesus had just healed the woman who reached out for his hem when Jairus’s messengers came to him:

“Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” 36Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” 37He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.40But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

As I read this passage, it was evident that we can all identify with parts of this story, whether it is the hurting or the healing. We see how the crowds reacted to the girl’s death:

They lost hope.
When Jairus was told his daughter was dead, all hope was lost. They didn’t even want to approach the Healer. They were ready and willing to accept defeat.

They lived in panic.
When Jesus arrived, there was panic and pure chaos. During these times they actually hired professional mourners…these may be the panicked toilet paper-purchasers of our time. 

They laughed at peace.
As Jesus attempted the calm the crowd, many people laughed at the possibility of healing and ridiculed those who believed.

Thankfully the story doesn’t end in hysteria and heartbreak. In the middle of the madness, we see how Jesus responds to doubt, discouragement, and disbelief:

He reminds them.
“Don’t be afraid, just believe.”
When Jesus overheard their hurt, He was quick to answer with hope. He gave them something to press in to, while preparing for healing. Sit and soak in His Words: “Don’t be afraid, just believe.”

He reassures them.
“Why all the commotion and weeping? She isn’t dead, only asleep.”
When Jesus arrived into a crowd of crying, He instantly answered with an alternative explanation. It looked like the end, but it was the beginning of a miracle. It looked hopeless, but there was healing coming.

He removes them.
The guests who mocked Jesus were immediately sent away. He surrounded himself with those who believed and removed the doubters and discouragers. We cannot join the social media meltdowns or public panics. We have to intentionally isolate ourselves from the hysteria in order to see hope.

He restores them.
“Little girl, get up!”
Even though the crowds were blinded by doubt and buried in defeat, Jesus worked a miracle. He called the girl to get up, just like He is calling many of us to do the same.
“Little girl, trust me.”
“Little girl, return to me.”
“Little girl, rest in me.”
“Little girl, look to me.”

The last thing Jesus said was to keep quiet about her healing. God worked a private miracle in the little girl’s life and He is doing the same worldwide right now. All around us He is working to heal marriages, reignite passions, restore health, and renew hearts. Don’t miss the private miracles while you are waiting on the public miracle.

Some people have lost hope, are living in panic, and have laughed at peace.
Jesus is reminding us, reassuring us, and restoring us.

Today He is telling us:
“Don’t be afraid.”
“Just believe.”
“Get up.”

 

 

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