A Hand Up

Jesus healed so many when he was on this earth, but there is one story that stands out to me after celebrating Easter. It’s the story of the raising of Jairus’s daughter found in Mark 5:21-43. For those of you who don’t know the story, Jesus was approached in a large crowd by Jairus, a synagogue leader, an important man in the community. This man was so desperate, he threw himself at Jesus’s feet even in this packed setting. The crowd must have parted for such a display. He explained his daughter was gravely ill and begged Jesus to come and heal her, something Jesus was now famous for. Jesus was willing, but the crowd made his leaving slow going. I imagine Him wading through a sea of grabby hands. Everyone wanted a piece of His power. According to the text, He healed a woman in transit, someone with so much faith that she tugged on his cloak and the power left Him, freeing her from 12 years of pain and suffering. Not one to heal and run, Jesus addressed her, but even this brief encounter was too long for Jairus and his daughter. As Jesus finished up with her, others arrived with the sad news that Jairus’s daughter had succumbed to her illness. They urged Jairus not to “bother” the teacher anymore. Jesus, overhearing the conversation, assured Jairus it was no bother and told him not to be afraid, which I find curious. I, of course, looked up the synonyms for the word “afraid”, because I associate this word with being frightened and it didn’t seem to fit this situation. Discouraged, disheartened, disturbed, anxious, upset, were all words one could use in its place. “Don’t be rattled,” Jesus said (my paraphrase). “I’ve got this. I’ve got you.”img_4194

I wonder what Jesus’s calm demeanor did for this man as they made the journey to his home. When they arrived, the mourners were there in what I assume was a small, uncarpeted place, their wailing filling and bouncing off the walls, saturating the air with sorrow. It makes me smile to think Jesus told them matter-of-factly, gently, that the girl wasn’t dead, but asleep. There must of been eye rolls accompanying their laughter at this outlandish suggestion.

The miracle that followed was precipitated by something so human, I’m delighted whenever I read it. Surrounded by her parents and a select few of his disciples, Jesus took the girl’s limp, cold hand in His and toldimg_4195 her to get up and she did! He helped her up!

Many of you know I climb mountains and I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m a tad clumsy. Though I’ve improved since I started hiking three years ago, for the first little while I spent a lot of time on my butt. I was privileged to hike up Grizzly Peak with my friend Denise one Saturday In 2019. While we were on the peak, we met a lone man. He told us his wife usually comes with him, but she had to work. I don’t think I would hike alone and not just for the obvious safety reasons, but because, for me, it’s a social gathering. I want someone to sweat and celebrate with. He was coming down behind us and so noticed Denise’s adeptness at navigating the terrain.

He reached me and piped up, “Your friend is good!”

I agreed readily, “Yes, she’s a very experienced climber” and then I proceeded to fall, not so gracefully, on my already bruised bumbedere.

I found it so comforting, after taking such a spill, to have Denise arrive, expressing her concern, and offering an outstretched hand to yank me back to my feet.

This moment in Jesus’s life perfectly illustrates why He came. He came to help us up. The Genesis account of Adam and Eve, the serpent and the forbidden fruit, is always referred to as the fall and fall we did, right out of God’s good graces. This pair’s disobedience didn’t just get them booted out of the garden, the forever home where they were meant to live out their days enjoying paradise, but separated them and us from our Creator. The fall would have been irreversible, a fall into the pit of hell and an absence of God for eternity, had it img_4208not been for God’s plan to help us up. As it was, Jesus took the fall for our disobedience. He took a dive, really, as 1 John 3:5 tells us he was upright, not fallen, “without sin”. Jesus knew His purpose. He knew the cross was coming and warned his disciples beforehand, which must have been very disconcerting for them. He said in John 10:17-18, “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” He willingly took our sin on Himself, dying the spiritual death we were destined for, the penalty for our sin, making way for our reconciliation with God. After three days in the tomb, the Father gave His Son a powerful hand up. Jesus was no victim slain, but the Victor risen from the dead, ascending to sit at the right hand of God, reigning in power and majesty. He came to do the same for us, to help us up, to elevate us, to lift us from the destructiveness of sin and the horrifying finality of death to abundant, eternal life with the Lover of our souls.

img_4202

Jesus is reaching out to those of you who don’t know Him. Just as He did with the little girl, He wants to restore you to your Father and give you life, but you have take His hand. He’s reaching out to you who’ve stumbled and fallen into that well-worn rut of sin, you who’re wallowing in guilt and shame. He wants to help you up and wash you clean, but you have to take His hand. He’s reaching out to you who’re weary, broken, lost, stuck, and despairing. He wants to help you up, to lift you from the muck, comfort, and heal you, but you have to take His hand. He’s waiting. Don’t delay! Take His Hand! Up you go!

img_4205

Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Pics used within the blog content from Pixabay unless otherwise noted. Take a peek at my Redbubble store. Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!

2 thoughts on “A Hand Up

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.