Approaching God with bold humility MARK 5: 21–43
Call to mind a time when you desperately sought answers to a particular dilemma or took it solely upon yourself to solve a major problem or obstacle in your life.
Maybe you were without a job and had bills to pay, and you did all you could in your human power to secure stable or even part-time employment. Perhaps you were trying to find a suitable partner for quite some time but to no avail. Or maybe you were filled with anxiety because some area of your life wasn’t going as you planned it or it didn’t seem to resemble such in the lives of others.
Consider the extent of the effort you made to make things improve without seeing any desired changes. You probably even prayed time and time again hoping that God would intervene somehow and grant you your heart’s desires and rid you of your distress.
If you can recall such a time, how then do you identify with Jairus and the woman with the haemorrhage in today’s gospel passage…two persons who had their dilemmas solved and circumstances transformed upon encountering Jesus?
The passage tells us that Jairus fell at Jesus’ feet and pleaded with him earnestly to heal his daughter, speaking with certain faith that if Jesus came and laid His hands on her she would be well again.
Similarly, the woman with haemorrhage who fought her way through the thick crowds surrounding Jesus came also with the certain faith that if only she could touch even His clothes that she would be well again.
Both individuals were in need; both of them desired that their circumstances be changed for the better; both of them firmly believed that Jesus could do just what they had hoped for; and both of them had their prayers answered. What can we learn about ourselves when we reflect upon these two gospel characters?
Jairus’ daughter is desperately sick and near death and Jairus is offering to Jesus all that he has left: his faith. There is nothing else to be done for his daughter at this point. It is faith, therefore, which leads him to seek Jesus out even though those present at the house are filled with doubt. Jesus therefore instructs him, “Do not be afraid, only have faith”.
How many times have the doubts of those around us caused us to doubt in God’s power to save, heal, restore and transform? Was Jairus full of faith because he had reached the end of a road as it were or was he always a man of faith but now the time had come for him to truly exercise how much he believed Jesus’ love for him and in His (Jesus’) power?
For the woman cured of the haemorrhage, Jesus was her last option. She had gone to various doctors before seeking healing and spent all the money she had. What did she have left? Only her firm faith that Jesus could heal her.
How often do we rely on trusting God only when there is nothing else we can humanly do about our situation? What is interesting about this woman nonetheless is that she believed in Jesus’ healing power so much that she believed His very clothing had the power to heal her! Consider this: was it the reality that Jesus’ clothing healed people or did it become a reality because of her faith? Is it true that we can make a reality the things we believe?
Both Jairus and the woman with the haemorrhage approached Jesus humbly and at the same time boldly. A beautiful paradox: humble boldness or bold humility. They knew who they were approaching so they humbled themselves in His presence: Jairus fell at Jesus’ feet and the woman emerged from the crowd frightened and trembling; but they also came boldly because they knew in their hearts the power He possessed and the love He had for all people.
Let us therefore approach God humbly by truly acknowledging His sovereignty and at the same time boldly, knowing that we are His sons and daughters whom He loves unconditionally and that He would not refuse us any good thing since He already gave us His Son.
The Gospel Meditations for July are by Denzil Williams, Moderator for Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Southern Vicariate. He has been actively engaged with delivering talks and facilitating workshops and retreats for over ten years within faith-based organisations and schools across Trinidad and Tobago. He also is the author of two self-help books, The Gift of Emotional Pain and The Spirituality of the Obvious.