In 1959 Dinah Washington had a hit with the song ‘What A Difference A Day Makes’, reminding us that a lot can happen in twenty-four little hours. We looked at two miracles Jesus did in one twenty-four hour period tonight (see Luke 8:40-56 & Mark 5:21-43).and saw how He was able to meet all the needs, even though these were desperate – a woman who had been suffering for twelve years and a girl who actually died during the course of the day but who was raised to life by the power of Jesus.
Both Jairus (the girl’s father and a synagogue ruler) and the unnamed woman were in desperate situations, but they still had faith that Jesus could heal and make a difference. They put aside their pride to reach out to Jesus and this is an example to us. It’s easy when things don’t go our way and God seems indifferent to us to give up hope, but these two people show us that Jesus will never turn anyone away who comes in humble, desperate need. Asking for help goes against the grain in Western society, but it’s only when we come to God honestly, confessing our sin where applicable and throwing ourselves on His mercy that we find the help we need.
Both people ultimately received help from Jesus, but the delay Jairus faced when Jesus healed the woman and commended her faith meant his situation initially got worse, not better, for his daughter died. At that point, it would have been natural for confusion and even anger to have arisen; everyone assumed that there was nothing Jesus could do now. But Jesus urged him not to be afraid and to keep on believing, and ultimately went to his house and raised the girl from the dead. Delay is hard for us to understand, but often we have to wait for the Lord’s timing before He steps into our situations with miraculous solutions. ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe’ is good advice to us in those waiting times when God doesn’t seem to be doing anything.
Isaiah tells us, ‘in perfect faithfulness You have done wonderful things’ (Is 25:1), and this is what we see Jesus doing in the gospels. Nothing is too difficult for Him – not long-term illness, not even death. Even when things are not going according to our plans, even when things apparently go from bad to worse, He is still able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. (Eph 3:20) Our part is to ask for help, to believe He is able and willing to help us and to keep on believing, even when the evidence of our eyes says there is no longer any reason to hope. God is the One who does the miracles. We are simply the blessed recipients of His grace and favour; our response is simply to praise Him and come to Him with thanksgiving in our hearts.