But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. – Luke 8:54-55
Years ago, a young girl was traveling by train through the country. And since she had never traveled so far by train before, she got pretty scared every time the train approached a river. Whenever she looked through the window and saw a river up ahead, she would start to panic. She couldn’t understand how the train could possibly cross the river without crashing. But each time the train approached a river, a bridge appeared that provided a way over. After this happened several times, the girl leaned back in her chair, breathed a sigh of relief, and in faith-filled confidence said, “Somebody put bridges for us all the way to where we’re going!”
Isn’t that just like what God does for us? We go through life worried about the obstacles we face. At times, the difficulties that lie ahead of us seem insurmountable! In Luke 8:40-56, a man turned to Jesus for help—and at first it looked as if that help came too late.
Jesus had just arrived in town when one of the local synagogue rulers came to Jesus, fell at his feet and pleaded with him to come to his house and heal his 12-year-old daughter, who was on her deathbed. So, Jesus began following this man, Jairus, to his home. But along the way, Jesus was interrupted when a woman touched the hem of his robe and was healed after 12 years of internal bleeding.
When Jesus took the time to talk to the woman who had been healed, we’re not told what Jairus was saying or doing. But I imagine he was standing there impatiently saying under his breath, “Jesus, could you please hurry up! My daughter doesn’t have much more time. This woman is healed already. Let’s leave it at that and get to my house before it’s too late.”
Well, according to verse 49, while Jesus was still speaking to the woman, someone came from Jairus’s house and told him, “Your daughter is dead. Don’t bother the teacher any more.” Without a doubt, Jairus’s heart dropped. He was devastated. But Jesus said to him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed” (v. 50). Jesus accompanied Jairus to his house and told the professional mourners weeping outside, “Stop wailing. She is not dead but asleep” (v. 52). The mourners laughed at him—after all, they recognized a dead body when they saw one.
Jesus went into the girl’s room with her parents and three of his disciples, Peter, James and John. Jesus took the dead girl by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” The Bible tells us: “Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat” (v. 55). Oh, wouldn’t it have been awesome to see the look on the mourners’ faces when that little girl walked out of the house munching on a chicken leg!
From a seemingly hopeless situation, Jesus built a bridge that brought a dead girl back to her parents. And from this point forward, Jesus’ followers would no longer view death as death, but only as sleep. It became clearer to them than ever before that the only thing that makes a body alive is the spirit inside that body. This girl’s spirit had never died. Jesus simply put it back into her body until God the Father was ready to call her spirit home to heaven.
This remarkable episode in Jesus’ ministry teaches us three things:
1. Each of us is at a different place in our faith journey, and Jesus is patient with each of us. Jairus, the bleeding woman, the messenger from Jairus’ house and the mourners were all at different places in their faith journey. But he didn’t scold or rebuke any of them. Likewise, each of is at a different place spiritually—and as we follow Jesus, we need to follow his example and be patient with each other.
2. Jesus wasn’t ever in a hurry. He allowed himself time to be interrupted, and it was during these interruptions that he did some of his best ministry. If your schedule is always full, and you’re always rushing from place to place, you will miss out on some wonderful ministry opportunities. If you wonder why God hasn’t called on you lately to do His work, it could be you’ve been too busy to notice your chances when they come along. God’s interruptions are always golden. We need to make time for them.
3. Our faith opens the door for Jesus to build bridges of healing and salvation. In verses 48 and 50, Luke uses the Greek word “sozo” for “healing.” That word literally means “to be saved.” When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, that faith paves the way for both His healing and His salvation.
God calls us as followers of Jesus to walk by faith and not by sight. Our eyes see certain disaster, but our faith sees that God will make a way. Jesus builds great bridges as we put our faith in Him. So, as we face obstacles that seem insurmountable, let’s trust Him. He is an expert at building bridges over and around and even through every obstacle we face.
Dane Davis is the Lead Pastor of First Christian Church in Victorville. For more information,
visit www.YourVictorvilleChurch.com and join us for worship Sundays at 10 a.m.