I would say that at some time in all of our lives, we have become overwhelmed. We are about to the end of our rope and if one more thing comes up, we have reached our limit and cannot move forward anymore. If you have ever been in that position, what did you do? Did you just walk away from everything? Did you have a meltdown? Did you take a deep breath and then forged ahead. Did you think about asking God for help or had you done that already? If you had done that already and things were still overwhelming did you wonder where He was and why wasn’t He there helping you?
During the last week of my mother’s life, life was a challenge. I was juggling being with her, taking care of Aunt Betty who was staying with me so she could be with Mom, making sure we had food on the table, the bills were paid, the laundry was done. It was about all that I could take. Then George fell off a ladder and broke his wrist. Fortunately, I was home at the time so we packed up and went to the emergency room. I let my sister know that I would be over to be with Mom as soon as we knew what the plan would be for repairing George’s wrist. This was just about the straw that broke the camel’s back. People asked me how are you doing all this? My answer was, I get up in the morning, and do whatever needs to be done. The next day I would get up in the morning and do whatever needed to be done. I never gave it any thought at the time but looking back, I think Jesus was there with His hand on my shoulder guiding me through what needed to be done. I hadn’t asked for His help but He was there. He was keeping me strong so that I could do what was needed to be done. I think that had He not been there, I couldn’t have stayed strong, I couldn’t have continued to do what needed to be done. I would have been totally overwhelmed and most likely would have just shut down.
In the scripture I just read from Mark, it was a day in which Jesus was being thrown a lot of things all at the same time. A great crowd was awaiting him as he crossed over from the other shore. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue comes to Jesus, falls at his knees, and begs that Jesus come with him as his daughter is nearing death. Jesus was on his way to the gentleman’s home when the large crowd follows him and presses in on him. There was a woman in the crowd that had been suffering for years with her ailment and was getting worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him to touch his cloak for she believed that if she just touched his clothes she would be healed. She touched and she was healed. Jesus felt the power leave him and turned around to ask who had touched his clothes. His disciples are telling him that the crowd is all around him and pressing in on him, how could he ask who touched him? But the woman knowing what had happened to her came forward and fell down before him and told him the truth. Jesus said; “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” Then while He was still speaking to the woman, some people came from the leader’s house and said that his daughter had died so why trouble the teacher any more. But overhearing what the people had said to the leader, Jesus turned to the leader and said; “Do not fear, and only believe.” Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him to the leader’s home. When they got there Jesus saw a commotion, people were weeping and wailing loudly. Jesus asked them why they were doing so. He said the child is not dead but sleeping. The people laughed at him so he put them all outside, and with the parents and his disciples he went to where the child was and told her to get up saying “Talitha cum” She got up and walked. Jesus had done what He started out to do, even though He was pulled in many directions getting to that point.
There are two things that I think we need to take from this scripture. First, we need to have faith. With faith, we know that Jesus will be there for us and will take care of our needs just as the women who believed that if she just touched the cloak of Jesus she would be healed. Jesus was there and took care of the needs of the leader of the synagogue by first telling him to not fear and to believe. Then He healed the man’s daughter bringing her back to life.
The second thing is that we can be overcome with the many things that can be thrown at us at the same time but Jesus isn’t overcome. He didn’t let the crowd rattle him as he came onshore. He definitely wasn’t claustrophobic. He was thinking of the child that was dying and knew He needed to be there but when the woman touched his clothing, He knew He needed to take care of her needs first. So He did, He asked and she came to him so that He could tell her that because of her faith, she was healed. Then he focused again on the child and went to the house where there was a commotion of people weeping and wailing. He took care of those folks first and then He could concentrate on the child. He didn’t lose focus, He didn’t get rattled, and He didn’t get overwhelmed. So what better solution is there for us when we get that way but to ask Jesus for His help. If we have faith, then we will know that Jesus will be there to help us when our lives are being turned upside down but we need to remember as well that He will also be there for the little things that come into our lives. Even if we don’t ask Him for help, He is there ready to help. We just need to have faith. His hand is on our shoulder giving us the strength to handle whatever life throws our way.
As you go about your week, whether it is a calm one or one of challenges and chaos, close your eyes and picture Jesus standing beside you with His hand on your shoulder. It can’t be any better than that.