Today's reading contains a phrase of Jesus that is never far from my mind, I even named this blog after it:
Mark 5:35-43I don't know about you, but in my spiritual life, and in other areas as well, there are many initiatives that I have been drawn to, but failed to pursue because there are these voices that always whispers "who do you think you are? or "Everyone thinks that you are a fool" " you will fail, yet again" or the complacent: "what is the use and what does it matter?" and so on. I am a coward, really, and prone to take no action rather than to risk failure or rejection so I let those voices speak, without much prayer and reflection on my part. I began to feel the call to write a blog, and for a few years fell back into that old pattern.
While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official's house arrived and said, "Your daughter has died; why trouble the master any longer?"
"Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said the the synagogue official, "Do not be afraid; just have faith."
How many times, when I have allowed those voices to jabber on in my head (maybe even through the advice of others) have I missed hearing these words of Jesus? In fact, I have failed to listen for His voice because all at once my soul is barraged with conflicting emotions. A whirlwind of prideful self indignation, self loathing, complacency and and self justification undermine my confidence and stoke envy and jealousy. Deadly! And it feeds the original fear that prevented me from waiting on the Lord for his saving response.
If you recall, while Jesus was on his way to Jairus's house he was held up by the woman with hemorrhages. Jairus is in a panic, his daughter is dying, and Jesus tarries on the way. I can hear the competing voices already in my soul if I were Jairus: "Why would he do this to me? I was here first! Does he not care about my family? Does he not care about me? Why should someone else come first?" These thoughts are stirred up versus: "Who do you think you are to presume that Jesus should rush to your aid when there are so many others who have waited longer and who are much, much needier. Jesus does not love selfish people." Do you see the tug of war, can you feel the anxious whirlwind being stirred up? Can you see where resentment can infest a soul if there is not time for reflection? Can you understand how no action can seem to be the safest course?
In my cowardly heart, I often think it is better to not even try than to be rebuffed, or to fail or to work or to succeed and have no one notice or care. If only in these moments I stop and reflect, open my heart and soul and listen; "Do not be afraid; just have faith." Jesus does indeed stop and see to another's desperate needs along the way, but He has not forgotten about the sick little girl, he has not spurned nor resented the request of Jairus. He is not bothered by it. He works according to a plan of eternity, and I think that if I am always so easily stirred up in anxiety and envy I will never be fit for eternity, I will never muster the courage that I need to be holy! And Jesus desires for me and for you to be holy, to dare to strive for sanctity!
"He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of the commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. So he went in and said to them, 'Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.' And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child's father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was."Jesus does not want me to be at the mercy of the voices (internal or from real people) that ridicule my desire for Him and my trust in Him. Voices that laugh at you for even thinking about developing a deep and intimate relationship with Him. He allows me to wait on Him at times, to strengthen my trust and deepen my desire for His life within me. And in those moments of waiting I will call on Him to calm the commotion of fear, envy, self-condemnation and self-justification. He will put out those voices of ridicule, but He will also draw forth from me strength and courage. He will awaken me from my complacency.
He took the girl by the hand and said to her, 'Talitha koum,' which means, 'Little girl, I say to you arise!"That is why I named this blog Talitha Koum. I read countless other blogs that are better in so many ways, and I am very tempted to say "who cares and what is the use?" still am called. I had to push past all the inner voices that tell me that this is a pointless enterprise, others have been there, done that and I have nothing new or better to add. This may all be true, but I am still called. I have to continue to seek the Lord in sending the naysayers away (these are mainly my own fears) and renewing the call. I have to be completely humble about my talents or lack of them and whether or not any one actually cares to read a word I write, yet bold enough to respond to His call in my heart. I respond, write and hit publish and let it go, for what ever purpose He has in mind, even if it is only to just draw me closer to Him by developing a trusting and a listening heart to bring to my family and those I encounter outside of cyberspace! And when the fear in my heart rises up I wait on Him because He always comes and whispers "Talitha Koum."
I don't know why, but this song comes to mind as I am finishing this post so I thought that I would share it! It is by Matt Maher and it is called The Spirit and the Bride:
"For every daughter whose never heard she's beautiful , let everyone who hears these words come! For the Spirit and the Bride say come!"
Peace and Grace, Heidi