I really am loving our current series at church about the ways that people interrupted Jesus or He interrupted their lives through Scripture and the way it still happens today.
This week’s story (read the whole thing here) was about a man who interrupts Jesus to ask him to come heal his daughter. When a woman interrupts Jesus along the way it delays Jesus and the man’s daughter dies. Yet, the story doesn’t end there. As Jason said in his sermon this week, he invites the father a little closer, to trust a little more and continues on to the house where the child was. Here’s how the story ends:
“…(Jesus) took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement.” (Mark 5:40-42 ESV)
I went to bed Saturday night after hearing the familiar story once again at church simply thankful that even when interruptions come in life and our plan seems to be falling apart, that God may indeed have an even more glorious plan.
In the middle of the night, I woke up, my mind swirling about a million different things, I found myself reading the Psalms trying to fall back asleep and came across this treasure:
“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” (Psalms 37:23-24 NLT)
It wasn’t until the next morning when I was finishing preparations for the children’s sermon that I made the connection between these passage though…
Our God is a hand-holding God.
He reached out and raised this girl to life, by holding her hand.
When I stumble through life, he holds my hand.
Suddenly other verses came to mind:
Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. (Psalms 73:23)
For I hold you by your right hand— I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. (Isaiah 41:13)
Our God is that near… So close to hold our hands. He faithfully walked with Jairus through the ups and downs of the situation. He welcomed the interruption of the woman as she got close enough to touch him. Our God is not a far off, distant God. He delights, as the Psalm 37 verse says, in the everyday details of our lives. He walk through every step of life, holding our hands all the way. Oh, yes, we may stumble and fall, but He’s got our hand, and we will never be completely destroyed. He picks us up, dusts us off and reassures us we have no need to fear the next steps, He is near.
“Against all hope
Help me hope
Against all fear
Draw me near
Against all hope
I will hope
Against all fear
I will draw near…
In You I have everything I need”
– Christy Nockels
Jesus, thank you for being a God that gets so close, you can hold our hands. Walk with us today reassuring us that you are near, to comfort in the hard times and celebrate with us in the joyful moments. Against all hope, help us hope, Lord. Against all fear, draw us near. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!