(Luke 8:40, Luke 8:41-42, John 8:46, Luke 8:47-55, Psalm 56:8-11, Deuteronomy 6:9)
Yes I Will
Are you well acquainted with waiting? I would guess we all are to a degree, but I wonder how close a companion waiting has become for you. I love to hear people’s stories and a lot of us have this common thread: lots of waiting.
C.S. Lewis, a man familiar with waiting himself, said this in Mere Christianity:
“I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do enter your room, you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise.”
Lewis did not marry until the age of 57 and also had quite the journey to find Jesus as the glorious end of all his searching, which is what he is referring to in this quote. Many of us can relate to Lewis, waiting on finding our spouse. Maybe some of you reading this are waiting to hear back from a job opportunity that will help you transition to something you enjoy more. Maybe you are like my husband and me and have spent time in the hospital waiting for news you don’t want to hear. Whatever it may be for you, present or past, big or small, I don’t doubt that as I mention waiting you can bring something to mind for yourself.
There is a story of waiting that is pretty incredible. It is the entire story you find in Luke 8:40-56 about Jesus healing a woman, as well as Jairus’s daughter.
Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him.Luke 8:40
Many were waiting for Him. But two, really three, people were waiting for Him that we get to know more intimately. Jairus and his daughter, a twelve-year-old dying girl, we meet first. Then on the way to their house, we meet the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years.
We don’t know if Jairus’s daughter had been sick her whole life or if it was more recent, but one of my favorite things about this story is a particular detail in the timeline: Jairus’s daughter had been alive just as long as the woman had been ill.
And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone.Luke 8:41-43
And we can only guess Jairus’s daughter had at least some experience with doctors at this point as well.
Waiting. Jairus, his only daughter, the woman we meet in the crowd, had all been waiting for Jesus. And for a long time. Waiting for answers, for healing, for love, for acceptance. And then He arrives. What a miraculous day!
Jairus has faith to believe Jesus will heal his daughter and Jesus starts coming with him to his house! The waiting is over! …but then everyone stops because Jesus is insistent someone has touched Him.
I perceive that power has gone out from Me.Luke 8:46
More waiting for Jairus. But the end of waiting for this bleeding woman. And Jesus gives her the opportunity to testify.
And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before Him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed.Luke 8:47
Then after the woman is healed, one of his servants comes and relays to Jairus the very thing he had come to Jesus to avoid.
Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.Luke 8:49
My heart sinks the same when I read this verse as when I read how long the woman had to endure bleeding and medical attempts. It is tragic. Imagine what Jairus may have felt: “Yes, this is amazing that this woman is healed from bleeding before our eyes, but my daughter is DEAD. I came here to find help, and now it is too late.” Jesus certainly knows what Jairus is thinking and feeling. Just as He knew the woman in the crowd. While Jairus came confidently to Jesus, strengthened by belief Jesus could heal and also strengthened by his position in Jewish society, the woman came full of apprehension. She didn’t even want Jesus to see her, she just wanted to reach out and touch Him believing He could heal her.
But Jesus, in His awesome and mysterious way, covers them both. Healing the woman, then speaking comfort to Jairus regarding his daughter.
Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.Luke 8:50
So when Jairus gets word that his daughter has died, he has a choice to make regarding what he just witnessed about Jesus. Will he push aside his criticism or doubt or fear – and believe? Will he believe that the same God that just healed this woman could do the same for his daughter even now? Though the woman had waited for so long – God was not late for her. This was her day. This was her story unfolding for the world to see for the glory of God.
And Jairus does believe.
And when He came to the house, He allowed no one to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and mourning for her, but He said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at Him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand He called, saying, “Child, arise.” And her spirit returned, and she got up at once.Luke 8:51-55
The song “Yes I Will” says: “In the waiting, the same God who’s never late, is working all things out”
We wait on many things, friends. We wait in traffic, we wait on being accepted into college, we wait for something to change, wait on hearing bad news, wait on hearing good news. And I have found that in the waiting, as difficult as it may be, is the opportunity to learn and believe.
To say “I choose to praise – to glorify.”
To say “You never fail, and You won’t fail me now.”
To say, “Yes. Yes I will sing for joy when my heart is heavy.”
“You have kept count of my tossings;Psalm 56:8-11
put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your book?
Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
in the LORD, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
He loves you, He is for you, and He will be your help. And even in the midst of hard days – on all our days – He is worthy of our praise. He was worthy in year 10 of the woman’s journey, when she had exhausted all of her options and still had 2 years left to wait for healing. He was worthy on the good days Jairus had with his daughter before she was dying, and on the day he found out she was dying. He is worthy of us saying “yes, I will.”
Father, You have done amazing things for your people. Thank you for giving us Your word, for sharing the stories of what You have done before, and continuing to give us stories to tell about You today. Please give me eyes to see where I may be ungrateful or unwilling to give You praise. Give me the strength to choose, for all my days, to glorify you and praise You in the waiting because You are worthy.
In light of C.S. Lewis’s quote and God’s charge in Deuteronomy 6:9, take a post-it note or a 3×5 card and tape up some reminders on the doors in your house. From Psalm 56 above or some of the lyrics of “Yes I Will”. If you are in the waiting now, may these serve as encouragements to you to pause and choose again to believe and trust God. If you are just out of waiting, may they stir gratitude in your heart for what God has done?