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Why troublest the Master further?

In the New Testament, we read about Jesus Christ and his ministry among the people. He taught those in synagogues, he lifted society's outcasts. He ate with sinners. His messages of love and peace ring true today. Three different accounts are written about a man named Jairus, a ruler in the synagogue. He approached the Savior and begged Him to heal his only daughter, who was 12 years old and near death. Jesus followed Jairus to his home. Along the way, a messenger from Jairus' home met the group. He informed Jairus that his daughter had died and reprimanded, "Why troublest thou the Master any further?" (Mark 5:35 KJV), or according to Luke, "Trouble not the Master." (Luke 8:49 KJV)

We don't know the young girl's name or her exact medical situation or how long she had suffered. I don't know if she was conscious or coherent when Jairus decided they needed help beyond what he could do. It must have been dire, desperate even. The loving father left her side, despite her declining state to seek out Jesus, one known by reputation for performing miracles. He fell down at Jesus' feet, anxious for relief.

I wonder if Jairus hesitated at all. Was he overstepping the bounds? Was he a bother to a man who already had so much packed into his day? I wonder if he asked himself if he was even worthy to approach Jesus Christ. Jairus was a ruler in the synagogue, but Jesus Christ was the Son of God. He fulfilled prophecies of ancient prophets. He healed people in miraculous, unexplainable ways. Who was Jairus to Him? A bother? A pest? One of a hundred people thronging Him, asking for attention, help, peace.

I feel a lot like that sometimes. Who am I? I'm only me. I'm an ordinary mom concerned about my ordinary life and the mundane tasks that go along with it. I worry about my son passing his driving test and the late hours after the high school football game on Friday night. I pause, wondering why my youngest clings so tightly to me or why he refuses to wear shorts. It hurts my heart to witness my perfectionist son struggle with a less-than-perfect 98% score. But surely, there are people in this world who deserve more of God's time than me. I'm not a celebrity or an influencer. I'm not a prophet or a spiritual leader, higher on the priority ladder. My name on a page is unrecognizable to most people outside of my own family circle.

Like Jairus' messenger, the voice in my head whispers something like, "God doesn't need to hear about that. Why bother Him with such a dumb thing?" He rules the heavens and oversees the Earth and everyone on it. "Why would he need to listen to you? He has better things to do."

Lies! That's what they are. Let's call it like it is.

God is our Father in Heaven. We are His children. How many times has He invited me to "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28 KJV). Peace! He promises peace for ANYONE who feels "heavy laden," not just those who are at "Level 5 - Emergency Status." I don't know about you, but I feel heavy laden after helping with homework. I recognize that weight on me when I'm trying to meet a deadline, or when my words aren't coming out the way I want them. There are days when I desperately need that "rest" offered and kneeling down to pour out my thoughts (good and bad) to Him.

Satan (the devil) wants nothing more than to keep me from feeling the light, warmth, and peace from drawing closer to God. His whole miserable existence revolves around yanking others down, lower than low, to be miserable just like him. I know his subtle tactics, and yet I still fall for some of them.

So, let's call him out on it.

  1. Satan will convince you that "you're not worthy" of God's help.

  2. Or, the opposite extreme, he'll insist that you are above it. "People of faith are foolish, old-fashioned, disillusioned..." (and on and on)

  3. He'll distract you, even with good things, to keep you from what matters most.

  4. He'll tempt you to walk away from it all, to numb the pain, to turn to addictive behaviors for counterfeit, fleeting moments of "quiet."

  5. He'll lie in every way imaginable. Nothing is beneath him. (Some of my personal favorites: "You're the worst mom ever; You keep messing up; Look at how much better (so and so) is at_______; You should be further along by now; You don't fit in; Why try?" ...and on and on)

  6. Contention excites him: Arguments, hard feelings, grudges, raised voices, overly critical assessments of one another. If you feel the tension, be the first to take steps to mend it.

  7. And finally, "Why trouble the Master?" He'll discourage any attempts to reach for the peace God offers.

So what can I do? In light of everything, I kneel to pray. Every day. I know God knows my name, even if no one else does. He cares about the loads I carry: the crippling homework-filled afternoons and my desperate need for sleep after late football night curfews. He hears the battlefield of self doubt and discouragement warring in my head. But I've come to realize, if it's important to me, it's important to Him.

The Savior didn't have to follow Jairus home. Really, other miracles in His ministry were performed "at a distance." He could have spoken the words according to Jairus' faith and the 12 year-old might have healed that same hour. The daughter might have been sitting up, waiting for Jairus to return. But that's not what Jesus did. When Jairus sought the Savior, he fell down at the Master's feet and begged for His help. Jesus came with him. Personally. He continued to Jairus' house despite throngs of others and messengers who advised against it. He came in the house despite the ridicule of others. He healed the daughter when all hope was lost and when, logically, it even seemed foolish to try to do so.

I'm not Jairus. But, like him, I can reach out for God's help. I can feel the Savior's very personal peace, even if it feels foolish to bother Him in the first place. Even if I hesitate. Even if I've fallen for some of Satan's most obvious tactics.

That knowledge alone fills me with power to rise above the lies.

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