Too Late – Mark 5:35

“While [Jesus] was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?’” Mark 5:35

The other day when I read this chapter, I stopped after reading of the woman in the crowd who was healed as Jesus was on the way to this ruler’s house. Picking up this morning where I left off, this is the first verse I read. I began to wonder what went through the man’s mind as he heard that they were too late. Jairus had watched his daughter get sick. Fearing for her life, his only hope was this Teacher, Jesus. He finally reaches Him, falls at His feet, imploring earnestly, and Jesus agrees to go with him.

But then there is a delay. At this time when Jairus is most desperate, when it is literally a matter of life and death for Jesus to get to his house quickly, a woman reaches out for healing. And Jesus stops. Feeling power go out from Him, He turns to find who had touched Him. There is a short conversation. As Jesus is telling the woman her faith had made her well, Jairus receives word that his daughter is dead. How crushing that blow must have been. To learn that as close as they had come, the daughter was lost. But Jesus doesn’t allow this family’s story to end here. “But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe’” (Mark 5:36). He goes to their house, takes the girl by the hand, and she arises. In the midst of hopelessness and certain failure, God breaks through and does the impossible.

I see a connection here with how we perceive Jesus as delaying, as coming too late. We think He may have forgotten us at least for a moment or that He was focused on someone else at the time. We believe that He’s let us down. But in truth, we are never cast out of His thoughts. He is never distracted. He never forgets us or what we need. Time doesn’t slip away from our God. He doesn’t slumber or sleep. He keeps us. He is aware of our going out and coming in, our sleeping and rising, and He keeps all of it. And even when our hopes seem dashed and His promises appear unfulfilled, our God can still come in glory and power to do the impossible. We are never without hope.

At times He will say no, as He did to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12. But His faithfulness is still here. His “no” is never said out of cruelty, apathy, or a lack of understanding or care. It is said because whatever He is actively preparing in your life is better. It shines more brilliantly with the glory of His grace. You will see His faithfulness. You will experience the steadfastness and the perfection of His love. You will know the sufficiency of His grace.

In the inevitable moments when truth seems shadowed, when we wonder if God is actually going to come through this time, let us pour out our hearts before Him and say with the psalmist: “As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!” (Psalm 40:17). Then listen. Listen for His songs over you. Listen for His words of truth that will penetrate and fill your heart. He does not delay. He will not fail. And He will never forget you.

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