Frank Retief was pastor at St James Church Cape Town for 31 years, having planted the church in 1968 with his wife Beulah. He became the Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa until he retired in 2010. Frank remains active in ministry through preaching, teaching, pastoral work & writing, and has authored a number of books.
Where is Jesus when I need Him?
Mark 5:36 Jesus told the synagogue ruler: “Don’t be afraid just believe.”The story in Mark 5:2-4 is full of interesting and mysterious things. Jesus is approached by a troubled and anxious father to heal his eleven year-old daughter. This man “Jairus” was neither an enemy nor a critic of our Lord. He was simply a father, although he had great standing in the community because he was one of the rulers of the local synagogue.We read that Jesus went with him but on the way he was delayed by another person with great personal needs. The woman who stopped him en route to the young girl had suffered for years with a bleeding condition. We can only imagine what this must have meant for her physically, psychologically and socially because she would have been considered unclean, and also conjugally – if she was married at all – her husband would most likely have disowned her. So Jesus stops to deal with her and help her.Meanwhile, imagine the family waiting for Jesus with great anxiety. Does he not know how serious their daughter’s condition is? Why does He not come at once? Why does He allow Himself to be delayed?How often have we felt like that. Our personal circumstances have taken a bad turn and in desperation we have called out to the Lord. But nothing seems to happen. Then the news arrives that the girl had died. But Jesus ignores the messengers and urges the family to have faith! Faith in what? Faith in fate, or in medicine or in the unknown or what? No. It is faith in HIM. By trusting Him they are saying: “We believe that you come from God. We believe you have all power in Heaven and Earth. Although we do not understand all your ways we know you not only know best but will do what is right and in alignment with your purposes”As we know the story ends well. The young girl is healed and the family is comforted.Does this mean that there will always be healing for us? Or that every crisis will be resolved satisfactorily? NO! What this great story tells us is that there will come a day when Jesus will “wake” us all up from the grave and in that new world which he will bring with him there will be no more death, sickness and sorrow.Of course this story also tells us how compassionate our Lord is with us all here and now! We may certainly bring our sorrows and anxieties to Him. But remember the little girl died first before she was raised to live and so too with us. Our circumstances may not seem to change much outwardly, in fact they may even seem worse. In other words somehow for us it seems that the worst that can happen seems to happen first, with no intervention from the Lord.But He who has authority and power over all things seen and unseen is still in control of your circumstances if you belong to Him.His Word to you is “Don’t be afraid. Just believe”. Believe not in the mystical power of faith, like many superstitious people do, but believe in Him, His love for you, proven by His death on the Cross, and believe that He is in control of your life and working all things out for the best, and for His own ultimate glory. So that whatever conclusion there is to your personal dilemma, sad or happy, you are never out of His hands, never cut off from His care and never outside of His purposes.Prayer:“Heavenly FatherI confess that my faith has often failed especially when my circumstances have been bad. I am very weak. Please strengthen me so that I may trust you and your love for me shown by your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us and rose again so that we might have a brighter future. Amen”Follow Frank Retief’s daily blog on online shopping cart,
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