Seventy-one days…

I’ve been spending some time reading the book of Matthew.  I’ve decided to re-read the gospels again between now and Christmas.  Today while reading Matthew 9:18-26, I was inspired to write a few of my thoughts.  I’m not going to write out the entire passage; I want to encourage you to read it.  But, I will give a brief synopsis so you understand where I am going with it.

I’ve read this passage many times, but every single time I read it, I am completely focused on the woman with the issue of blood.  Her faith, as well as the response from Jesus, has always made this passage come to life for me.  However, as I was reading this today, my focus was drawn to the ruler and his daughter.

In verse 18, a ruler comes and worships telling Jesus that his daughter has died.  He confesses faith in Christ when he says to the Lord, “Come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.”  It is on His way to the ruler’s house that He meets the woman with the issue of blood.

When arriving at the home of the deceased girl, he walks in and sees flute players along with a noisy wailing crowd.  He tells them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.”  The passage continues on to say they ridiculed Him.  After His encounter with the people in the home, scripture tells us the crowd was put outside.  It was then He took the girl by the hand and she arose.

First of all, I should reiterate that I am a visual learner.  There are actually tears filling my eyes when I think of Jesus in His physical form walking into a room.  Moreover, to think He reached out and tangibly took her by the hand is more stimulating to my soul than I could ever express.  After His touch, she arose…

As I was reading, I began to think of so many of us enduring trials and tribulations.  Daily, we walk around with wounded hearts and spirits trying to work through the grief process.  We may not be physically dead like the girl in the scripture, but some of our hurts run deeper than most will ever know.

After Jesus declares to the crowd that the ruler’s daughter is not dead, the crowd is moved outside.  At that point, He went in and took the girl by the hand.  I believe there was a connection between the two.  I’ve recently talked about the secret place.  I’ve discussed taking time to be still.  When I read these verses, it reminds me all over again that we need to be in that secret place where the Lord can hide us.  We need to take the time to be still and allow Him to take us by the hand.  When He took the girl’s hand, she arose.  In the touch of His hand is the power to give life.  He died on the cross to give us life.

The story of the ruler and his daughter happened before Christ’s death on the cross.  I cannot begin to grasp the amount of lamenting in the ruler’s home for his precious daughter, because the hope of Christ had yet to be revealed.  That is why this example is so profound.  As we lie in grief, sorrow, and spiritual death, it only takes us running to His secret place, confessing our wrongs, and being still to arise in His grace.  He takes us by the hand, and we arise.  I recognize we don’t always feel His rescue, but I don’t believe we would make it a single second through the grief process if He wasn’t leading us.  I wish I could audibly share this with you.  There is so much more I would love to say.  But, before I go, I want to leave you with this…

Take time each day to run to the secret place.  Spend time with Him in prayer, and don’t forget to be still.  Allow Him to take you by the hand so you can arise.  God is faithful.  He is the only One with the ability to lead you through your trials.  Your Victory will only be accomplished through the Victor.


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