When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live." He went with him.
And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, "If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well." Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes?" And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, `Who touched me?'" He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."
While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader's house to say, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?" But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe." He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha cum," which means, "Little girl, get up!" And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat. Mark 5:21-43
Some times it is a real challenge to hold on to faith. When the challenges get overwhelming or the constancy of pain loss and suffering are pulling one under, it is hard to hang on to faith. This winter, before I had back surgery, the pain was so constant and the answers so limited it was hard to see God in the midst of it all. Now I can look back and see God in the midst of all of it, but then, it was much harder.
The story from the Gospel revolves around two women, one young and one older, and the faith that brings healing and new life. Jairus aches for his daughter to be well and the unnamed woman touches Jesus aching to be well. They may not have seen God working in their lives, faced with so much pain and loss, but neither would give up hope that Jesus would bring them possibility where there had been none. Jesus is always tender and gentle with both Jairus and the woman, encouraging them both. His tenderness and compassion remind me that God is constantly working for our healing and our new directions, even when we are bogged down with pain, loss and major struggles. God's desire is to heal us and give us new life.
Today, I want to live faithfully, trusting God for healing and solutions when we feel completely stuck and boxed in. May we not give in to fear, but rather believe that God is fitting a solution to our need, a way forward in the darkness and the gloom. May we trust God to bring new life and healing and may we share our faith to those who are perishing today.
Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.