I don’t know what to do!
As we approach Father’s Day, I am conscious that many of us who are dads have a desire to prove ourselves, if only for our families. I have at T-shirt my kids gave me once that says, “Dad, the man, the myth, the legend.” And the truth is, whether we are prepared to admit it or not, many of us men want to try and perpetuate at least the ‘myth’ that we’ve got it all together.
But what happens when we don’t have it all together – when situations confront us that are way out of our control? I know that, as a dad, I like to feel that I’ve got things generally under control and I’m doing the best job I can for my family. But that aspiration and dream is not always the case. I remember once when our youngest daughter fell over the handrails of our back stairs and cracked her skull. Suddenly I was not in control and frankly I didn’t know whether she was going to live or die. Mercifully she did recover after a stint in hospital.
It reminds me a little of a guy called Jairus whose daughter was extremely ill. He was no longer in control. No longer could he perpetuate the ‘myth’ that ‘he’s got this!’ He didn’t! Life had thrown him a curveball for which he had no more answers. I suspect many of us have found ourselves in that place. But, in Luke 8, he does the only smart thing a person can do when they’ve got no more answers for themselves. He came to Jesus and pleaded that he would do what he could not do!
But even as Jesus went with him to see his daughter, Jesus got delayed. Others were also pressing in with their own stuff, their own issues. On the surface, it may have seemed that Jesus was not that interested, that he had other priorities and before they even got there, Jairus’s daughter died! It was too late! Poor Jairus couldn’t even get that right! Have you ever gotten to that point? For all your best efforts in the world, you just don’t feel that you can get anything right. And now your world is crumbling around you. You know, it is in the face of such abject depression and despair, Jesus offers these words of comfort, “Don’t be afraid, just believe!” The thing is, when we come to Jesus, it is not a matter of us coming with everything sorted and a simple request that he will hit the button to make it all right, just the way we thought it ought to be. Jesus calls us to simply trust him, to believe that he can do for us, what we could never do – to believe that he is the One who can even bring life out of death! And so, Jairus continued to accompany Jesus as they made the painful journey towards his home, where in one sense now, all had been lost. But, as Jairus continued to trust Jesus, regardless of the apparent hopelessness of the situation, he soon came to see what can happen with the touch of Jesus. He is the one who can bring life, hope and renewal to even the darkest situation. He is the One who can even bring life to those who have finally come to realise that, despite their best efforts to do life well, they are still essentially dead in their own transgressions and sins (Eph 2:1-5). Perhaps it is as people get to this point that the ‘myths’ we try to perpetuate about ourselves can be replaced by the life-transforming power of God’s Spirit.
Peter Francis (Principal)