Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Who would have known? I mean, how COULD anyone have known? As we gathered our church family together on Sunday morning for worship God had made His message clear to me. It was one of those days when there was really no doubt about what He wanted me to say. The scripture we studied was Mark 5: 21 - 43. It is the story of Jairus and his very little, very sick daughter and it burned in my heart.

As the story goes, Jairus goes to Jesus and tells him that his twelve year old daughter is sick and asks if He would please come. Jairus is afraid that she is going to die and he recognizes that Jesus is the only chance she has for survival. Jesus begins to follow our friend. He is interrupted by a woman who has been bleeding for twelve years. She touches his garments and is healed. A brief conversation ensues and then they continue on to the home of Jairus ... where his daughter has already died. When Jesus arrives He goes to the little girls room, commands her to get up, and she returns to life. Everybody is astonished. Now THAT is the understatement of the year.

How good is God anyway? Is He good enough to show up when we hurt? Is He good enough to follow us home? Is He good enough to raise our children from the dead?

Very. Yes. Yes. Yes.

This morning, very early, death visited the home of another precious young girl. Many of us knew her. Jennifer Smith was 18 years old. Her father is Mike Smith. She lived with her mother and step father in Rosewood Heights and just finished her freshman year at SIUE. She attended the First Assembly of God in Wood River on a regular basis. She also attended our church many times. She frequented Centrifuge with our youth group. Jennifer Smith was my friend. Her smile made me smile. Her laughter made me laugh. I cannot ever remember being sad when Jennifer was in the room. Sometime during the night Jennifer stopped breathing. They believe it was a result of her diabetes. At least that was the physical cause. The real truth is something that only God's children can understand.

Jesus came to Jennifer's house last night. He went into her room. He told her to get up. And she returned to life ... but this time the life He restored was the same life that Jesus Himself enjoys. Real life. Eternal life. A life of perfection in a body of perfection. Jennifer left her father's house and went to live in her Father's house. Today was a day when heaven won one of its greatest victories.

Jennifer Smith was all set to go on a mission trip to an Indian reservation in South Dakota next week. Yesterday her dad prayed over her and anointed her with oil for her journey. He thought he was anointing her for her journey to another state. Only God knew that he was anointing his daughter for the journey to Heaven. When Jesus called the daughter of Jairus back from the dead ... back into her bedroom ... that was a miracle. But that little girl faced death again sometime later. Hopefully years later. When Jesus called Jennifer back from the dead it was a permanent calling. There is no greater miracle. There is no greater reason to worship Him.

Peace to your heart...