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Lead Me On: Don’t Be Surprised

When your faith feels weak ... keep the faith anyway.

I recently heard a sermon about a man who possessed incredible faith: Jairus. And his daughter was about to die.

Just as one would expect from a sermon, Jairus sought out Jesus, found him, secured a few one-on-one moments with him, and asked him for help.

Jesus said yes, followed Jairus home, said a few choice words, and ta-da! Daughter was healed. ACTUALLY daughter was brought back to LIFE.

Just like that.

Some. Faith.

I later read the story for myself, and Jairus' reaction to the whole encounter caught my eye (Mark 5:22-43).

He was amazed.

He was amazed?

I understand he was emotional about the healing of his daughter. I have a young daughter. I can't even apply this story to any context including her because it stops my heart. I'm about to bawl. My back muscles just seized up between my shoulder blades.

I get it. What Jesus did for Jairus' daughter was amazing.

But he was amazed? As in blown away? As in, what Jairus received from Jesus was bigger than he had been able to wrap his head around minutes earlier.

As in, what kind of faith is that?

As in, so what that we say we believe? Until a thing happens, we don't. I mean really, we just don't.

What was the Author's point with the story? Until you see, you hardly know what to believe–hardly know what "believe" even means.

But Jairus. He believed enough to go find Jesus. He believed enough to fall at Jesus' feet and plead earnestly with him. He believed enough to wait (wait!) while Jesus paused to address the needs of a bleeding woman. He believed enough to ignore friends' bad news that his daughter had died and really bad advice to therefore abandon the effort to get Jesus to help.

He believed enough to listen when Jesus told him, "Don't be afraid..."

In the end, he was amazed. In fact, the NIV says he was completely astonished. Actually, it says "They were completely astonished" as in him plus his wife plus three apostles who by that point should not have been shocked by a single rabbit Jesus pulled out of his hat. They'd seen big things already. Huge.

And?

Astonished. Amazed.

Don't be so surprised by the teeny tiny skinny thread that is our faith. It's hard, this journey. It's confusing.

As much as we think he will, we largely think he ... might not.

Jairus saw it coming but he still didn't see it coming.

It's overwhelming to do this one thing: believe that something amazing could happen.

We tell our kids and the people we lead that this is a matter of faith. Confidence. Walk boldly. Believe. This summer, I watched my 8-year-old son's football coach holler confidently during a pregame pep talk. "We're better than those guys!" he said. "We're gonna beat those guys!" he said. "It's gonna be great!"

March31, 2014 at 8:00 AM

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