“My daughter has just died; but come and place your hands on her, and she will live.” ... Then Jesus went into the official's house. When he saw the musicians for the funeral and the people all stirred up, he said, “Get out, everybody! The little girl is not dead—she is only sleeping!” Then they all started making fun of him. But as soon as the people had been put out, Jesus went into the girl's room and took hold of her hand, and she got up. [Matthew 9:18,23-25 GNT]
Desperation has taken hold of a Jewish official causing him to come to Jesus.
He kneels in front of Jesus begging him to restore life to his young daughter.
It is hard to read, his cry for help and not be moved deeply by his sorrow.
While the man is kneeling, a funeral service is beginning at the man's home.
People are grieving, expressing their sorrow and comforting each other.
This seem to be a very normal reaction to such a great loss.
I can relate to both of these reactions to the death of a loved one.
My young children and I stood by and watched Ellen die right in front of us.
I stood alone in that room after she passed and asked God to bring her back to life.
Ellen died, we gathered with friends and celebrated her life and legacy.
Folks might have reacted badly if I brought in a man saying she was just asleep.
Wonder what would it be like if someone chased away grieving people today?
In reality, I think that we can all relate to the official and his grieving friends.
We pray. We kneel. We plead. We do all we can do to help and heal the ones we love.
We want miracles. We want answers. Often these things do not come.
Because of the rarity of miracles, it is so hard to believe in them.
So often we become fixated on our problems and see no way out.
This passage points us not to the miracles but to the miracle maker.
The man in this story had no ability to invoke the miraculous raising of his child.
His only recourse was to bow, physically and spiritually, to the miracle maker.
The miracle required him to let go of his daughter and trust Jesus with her.
Lord, help me to let go and trust you when miracles do not come.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.