They asked! They Received!

How
is your year of faith going?   I have been continually challenged and
encouraged to pursue this faith journey this week.  I am determined and
bring the tyranny of fear to an end in my life.  God's Word admonishes,
encourages us and instructs to walk by faith not by sight.  If it is in
His Word, we can trust we can do it!

 

This morning I was
reading Matthew 9:18-26As Jesus was saying this; the leader of a
synagogue came and knelt before him. "my daughter has just died." he
said, "but you can bring her back to life again if you just come and lay
your hand on her."  
 Tragedy just struck their home.
We don't know why this girl passed from life to death, but we do know
this father left the family to search out Jesus.  In the midst of grief,
he shows us what to do--look for Him.  I think there was probably urgency
to his voice, please come NOW. 

The scripture goes on
to say: So Jesus and his disciples got up and went with him.  How
relieved the man must have been.  Jesus heard, Jesus listened, Jesus
responded.  He was coming.  But then, there was an interruption and a
delay in the story.  Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve
years with constant bleeding came up behind him.  She touched the fringe
of his robe, for she thought, "if I can just touch his robe, I will be
healed."  Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said,
"Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well."  And
the woman was healed at that moment.  
She had suffered twelve years
with this awful malady, but by faith she went to Jesus.  She did something
that was opposite of what she was supposed to do.  Women with bleeding
were considered unclean, and she was supposed to stay away from crowds and live
in isolation.  It was her infirmity that brought her to Jesus.  No
one else could help her.  She touched his robe with faith and received her
healing.  It was her form of asking.  I wonder how the father must
have been feeling during this time.  If it were me, I would have been:
come on, we don't have time for this.  My daughter is DEAD.
You've lived with this for twelve years, couldn't you just hang on for a
few more hours?   Jesus had time for both.  

What really struck me
about these stories is that both of these people had to experience a need
first.  The synagogue ruler daughter died.  Watching her pass on
cannot have been easy.  We don't know if it was a sudden loss, or if she
had a lingering disease.   We just know she died.  Life happens.
We get faced with choices when they happen.  Every one of us are
faced with circumstances where we can go to faith or we can go to fear.  

Darryl used to say,
" in order to experience a miracle, you have to need a miracle.  Most
people do not want to go through what it takes to need a miracle."  I
began to think about other miracles recorded in scripture.  In every
situation, both in the Old Testament and in the New, people had to walk through
lack, illness, or as in this situation, death before they could experience
God's amazing powerful provision.

Here me please, I am
not saying God caused these situations to happen.  We live in a fallen
world and sin brought with it death.  The devil comes to steal, kill and
destroy, but God came to bring life and that more abundantly.  James tells
us, dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it
an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is
tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when
your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing
nothing.    
Facing a daughter’s death would test anyone's faith. When
Jesus arrived at the official's home, he saw the noisy crowd and heard the
funeral music.  "Get out! he told them.  "The girl isn't
dead; she's only asleep."  But the crowd laughed at him.  After
the crowd was put outside, however, Jesus went in and took the girl by the
hand, and she stood up!  The report of this miracle swept through the
entire countryside.  
The wailers and mourners were doing their job.
It seems like only the father had faith to trust in Jesus's power.
Sometimes we may feel we are the only one standing in faith for a situation.
That is not easy.  People laughed at me and our church family for
believing Darryl would live and recover from his massive stroke.  We saw
more by faith than we did by fear.  Was it easy?  No.  Was it
worth it?  Yes!  Some of the medical people at the hospital shook
their heads at me.  I am sure they thought I was a foolish woman living in
denial.  I admit I did it shaky and wobbly, but God responded and Darryl
recovered amazingly more than was ever expected.  It is always worth it to
go to faith, rather than sit and let fear take hold.

 Father, please show
us where we need to "go to faith" in our life.  Teach us how to
seek you and your ways in with fresh faith even in places we may have settled
in to "endure to the end".  Some of your people are choosing to
believe you for new steps, new doors, new opportunities to see your power
revealed.  Thank you for showing up.  We