Sometimes Life Brings Lemons, Then Add Real Water – Mark 5:35-43

Vol. 2 No. 49 – 12-3-2017

Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore? Mark 5:35

At times life drives on to their knees in disappointment, fear, or unexpected grief. This is especially true when it is for someone we love—a daughter, a son, a spouse, a co-worker, even a friend.

This text reports on a leader, a synagogue ruler, Jairus. How could a religious man have this experience? His lifestyle was exemplary; even his theology was to be envied. He was the kind of person that everyone looked at as having his act together. His façade of life comes tumbling down; it crumbles when his daughter takes a turn toward death.

Things are not different today, are they? People, including leaders, have tender spots in their heart for ones they love. In June of this year, a group of teens, seniors and juniors along with some adult workers, were traveling from Huntsville AL to Hartford International Airport in south Atlanta GA. Their bus was involved in a horrific accident that made national news. One young teen girl died at the site of the accident, 39 others were carried to hospitals in the area. Life-flight ambulances were called to the scene. There were several in very critical condition.

How could this happen to a group traveling to Botswana Africa to conduct a VBS in that needy land? Sometimes we act tough, used to the rough and tumble world we live in. When something happens to others, we recite Bible verses, and encourage those who hurt. However, when something happens to those close to our hearts, most often panic sets in.

We expect to face problems, threat, and even risk—but this kind of event leaves many of us in a petrified state. Suddenly the “fixer” mode we generally carry does not work; the event exposes our helplessness. We want a miracle. We pray; and we experience an unexpected death of a beautiful teen who was headed to do a work of servant ministry.

Some might think it is all over. But it is not.

Sarah Hamening wrote in her journal of her love for Jesus, and expressed the humility of being able to minister in a far-away country. Her mother, the day following the death, said, “I hope you will listen (to what her daughter said) because it is what she lived and breathed for.” She cited 1 Peter 5:6 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.

Jesus challenged Jarius, as He challenges us, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.” Even the death of a very precious one does not end Jesus’ ability to act.

We will not know the outcome of the effects of Sarah’s life perhaps for years; however, we are promised that God’s Word does not return void. Whatever walk of our life we are in, or position that we hold, we must first trust in the One who can move in areas that we cannot. Often our words to others fail; but the Word of the Lord never fails.

Mark’s Gospel takes us to an outer edge of our life experience where only God can make a difference. Perhaps getting on our knees before we even start our day is not such a bad position to be in.

These parents took early steps to expose their daughter to God’s truth and it mad a difference for her life. Last Sunday Donna and I were in a church that had a dedication service–one that dedicates the parents and the church to have a godly influence on children. Did you ever think of how many weekends a two-year old will experience before they turn eighteen? 832. We have 832 weekends to influence our children for Christ. The parents in the dedication service were presented with a jar of marbles — 832 marbles. They were encouraged to take a marble out each weekend and purposely spend time teaching their child about Christ and how to live biblically. Could we be challenged to lead our child with that reminder?

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

December 3, 2017

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