Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wrestling with Life

As soon as Jesus got out of the boat He was met by a man who came out of the burial caves. This man had an evil spirit. Mark 5:2

Jairus, an official of the local synagogue came up and when he saw Jesus he threw himself down at his feet and begged him as hard as he could, “My little daughter is very sick. Please come”….Mark 5:22-23

There was a woman who had suffered terribly from severe bleeding for 12 years…if I can just touch his clothes. Mark 5:25,28

While Jesus was saying this some messengers came from Jarius house and told him, your daughter has died. Mark 5:35

Jesus paid no attention to what they said, but told him, “Don’t be afraid, only believe.” Mark 5:36

My YL Capernaum teammate Colleen and I read Mark 5 yesterday. We read it after we had talked about a litany of many dear friends of mine involved in suffering and tragedy. In early August while I was in Macedonia, a former club kid named David, whom I dearly loved and had known for 21 years, died. Later on that month another club kid named Petey, lost his mother and cried out at the funeral, “It hurts so much. Why? Why?”

In the past few weeks another club kid named Gerry has been fighting for his life. He is near the end of the life expectancy of a person with Muscular Dystrophy, he is 23 years old. At the same time three of the dearest couples in my life are either getting divorced or are on the edge of ending their marriages. Another friend is fighting schizophrenia. Another friend has a mother who was found incoherent at her bedside and is struggling with dementia. And I have been in an ongoing struggle with a physical issue.

As Colleen and I talked about all of this, we both recognized just how tough life can be: tragedy, suffering, confusion, desperation, disease, and death. It can seem in the context of such stressful times that we could all collapse. What hope do we have? Yet when I read Mark 5, I am greatly encouraged. Do you know why? Because Jesus was right in the middle of desperate, hurting peoples lives. He was there ministering, healing, blessing and encouraging.

I have to remember and you have to remember in dark moments of our lives and in the lives of those we hold dear that Jesus is in our midst, He’s in charge and He has the last word. Not desperation, decline, weariness, disease, depression or death! But Jesus! Say it again, Jesus! He is our hope. He is our deliverer. He is the one we can turn to in our own desperation. Jesus never failed to respond to desperate people who had faith. This is a combination Jesus finds irresistible.

So my friends where are you desperate, confused or afraid? What are you wrestling with what possibly no one knows, personally or in ministry? Lack of money? Lack of leaders? Wondering if it is worth it or if anyone understands? Or even cares? Self-doubt? Too many changes? Weariness? Physical issues? Being too hard on yourself, for your sins or the sins of others?

Whatever it may be, know that Jesus is in the crucible of these life situations with you and He says, “Don’t be afraid, and only believe.” My daughter! My son! Your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed from your trouble. (Mark 5:34) Life is complex but Jesus directs us in the middle of these complexities to look into His eyes and hear His voice. I pray that for you and for me.

Always in need of a Savior,


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