5 May 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: 13That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets: 14That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets. 15Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.” (Psalms 144:12-15;
All scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
I read somewhere of a man of God who lived in the highlands of a far country whose faith suffered a long silence from his God. He had continued to minister, but his teaching from the ancient texts seemed unfulfilled and incomplete. Yet, he continued to serve his God with whatever light had been given him.
This man of God was a simple man who loved his wife and verily doted on his young daughter. That is quite understandable for there is nothing of greater charm and loveliness than a young daughter.
But one day as he was leaving his place of worship, a servant came running with the news that his precious daughter had taken gravely ill with a serious illness. Rushing home, he found his daughter in bed with a very high fever. The man was eager to see his daughter healed for he could not face life without her – she was his only child. He sought the local physician of the village who sadly shook his head and departed. The man prayed desperately for her recovery, but his prayers seemed to bounce back from a brazen sky. Wasn’t there someone who could heal his daughter?
It was during this darkest hour of the minister’s life that a servant pulled him aside and reminded him of a physician who could heal any disease; moreover, that physician was passing through the village as they spoke. It is true that Jairus had heard of this great Prophet and Healer, but Jairus had never spared the time to learn of Him firsthand. But in this fleeting moment of despair, a man will grab hold of any possible answer to alleviate his anguish. He rushed out the door to find this Great Physician. “Seek and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7) was a reliable proverb even spoken by the Man whom Jairus sought.
Hurrying down the dirt path to the village center, Jairus heard the discordant voices of a large crowd of people. He was drawn to that sound since it must herald the presence of that Great Physician of whom he had heard so much. Finding him, he knelt before Him and pleaded the case for his daughter. But our Lord Jesus Christ was busy, as was always the case, in healing another who had also sought a Physician who could not only heal but would take no material reward for His services. Of course, the heart of poor Jairus was aching with the pain of the possible loss of his daughter. Falling before the feet of Jesus, Jairus pleaded his case, and the heart of Jesus, always overflowing with compassion, compelled Him to begin to go to the home of Jairus.
Unfortunately, as they embarked to go to the girl, a messenger came to inform Jairus that his daughter was already dead – that he should trouble the Master no more. This was the worst possible news Jairus, or any man, could have received. His heart literally broke as all hope seemed lost. But Jesus heard the news before the words were spoken. He turned to a despondent Jairus and uttered these incomprehensible words: “Be not afraid, only believe.” (Mark 5:36) Of course, in every hard turn of life, this is the answer to our hurt.
Jesus went to the house of Jairus and was met with many of the neighbors mourning the death. “Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth,” (Mark 5:39) Jesus said. True, the neighbors knew death when they saw it, but Christ only knows LIFE! Even committed Christians often mourn exorbitantly at the loss of a family member not fully believing that they sleep in the ‘bosom of Abraham’ beyond the reach of pain or suffering.
Our Lord entered the room of dying where the child lay accompanied by her parents and Peter, James, and John. He stood beside the young girl’s bed and beheld the face of this beautiful child, cold and immovable, in the grips of death. He gently took her by the hand and said, “Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.” (Mark 5:41) Well, what happened next? Did the daughter begin to gradually recover? Not at all! “And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. 43And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.” (Mark 5:42-43)
I need not remind you that only a healthy person desires food and nourishment. It is true as much of the Spirit as of the Body. If we hunger for the daily serving of God’s Word, we are healthy souls in Christ. We, too, shall one day hear that loveliest of all Voices say, “My son, or my daughter, Arise!”