"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Thursday, June 23, 2016

He Tells a Different Story

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The nature of our lives--- our work and our connection to so many people around the world---allows for a pretty consistent slew of bad news coming across our desks.  We jokingly look at each other sometimes and talk about the all too common feeling of dread when hitting the "send and receive" button in our email program.  What will we hear next...

Bad news.  

No one likes to hear it.  Feelings that accompany bad news are numerous, depending on the situation and how close it comes to us, the feelings come in degrees---sadness, grief, anger, disgust, worry, fear, hopelessness...  just to name a few.  Bad news can feel like a punch in the gut.  We don't like how bad news feels.  But, we keep hearing it.  ...and yes, we all keep reading the headlines and the news.  Like going back into a painful situation time and time again, we keep turning on the television to hear more or to listen to it again.  And, again.  Why?   Why do we do this to ourselves, I wonder.  

This morning I was struck when reading Mark 5:35-43.  In this passage, a desperate father is standing before Jesus asking for Him to come and heal his dying daughter.   While he is still standing with Jesus, some men come and tell Jarius, the father, terrible news---horrific news.  "Your daughter is dead", they say.   What might Jarius have been feeling at that moment; that gut-wrenching moment?  I can only imagine.  Truly, this must be the one of the worst possible pieces of news a person can receive--- death; the death of someone you love.  

Jesus' reply to this situation is shocking.  All eyes are on Jarius in this moment; but, heads must turn quickly to look at Jesus when He speaks confidently and directly after the men bring the bad news. He tells Jairus a very different story.  In the passage, in fact, Jesus "ignored what they said" and encourages Jairus with these words:  

"Don't be afraid:  just believe" (Mark 5:36)

Jesus tells Jarius a totally different story--- He gives him different news.  

Going against the tide, against the "truth" and "reality" that everyone is seeing and testifying to, Jesus walks forward and says, "The child is not dead but asleep".    

This morning, as I saw this story unfold in my mind's-eye, I kept thinking:  What if when I hear bad news---horrific and terrible news--- what if, I looked to You, Jesus.  In those moments---those sad, fearful, sickening moments.  What if I turned my eyes immediately from the messenger (let it be men, email or television) and asked You, "What say You?"  

Jesus, what do You say about this?  What is the true story here?  

Might I hear something different from my Jesus, my Savior?  When I hear the hopelessness that is being broadcast over our world today...  what if Jesus is "ignoring" this bad news of despair and saying something different?  

Might I hear the whispering of His words...  "Don't be afraid... just believe"
"I am making all things new" (Revelation 21:5)

Jesus, tell me Your story---Your good news.  Tell me the True story today.  
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