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“Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.'” Mark 5:36
Do the voices around you distract and discourage you from believing the words of Jesus? What about the voices in your heart that whisper about pride and shame?
In Mark 5:21-43, we read about two different people with desperate needs. One fought through pride and the other fought through shame.
When I overcome pride and kneel before Jesus, I slay the pride that tells me I can manage on my own, and getting to that point can be such a battle. But pride is a preventer of receiving Jesus’s work in my life so it’s worth the skirmish.
Then there are times when I struggle with shame because I’ve tried everything and failure still dogs my steps. Shame prevents me from receiving the miracle Jesus wants to do in my life. So when I lay it aside, I tell shame it has no hold on me.
We’ve all felt the lure of pride and shame. The pride that says, “I’ve got this,” and the shame that says, “He can never receive me.”
Shame and pride are two different emotions with exactly the same outcome: We will not find Jesus. But what we will find is ourselves and we are woefully inadequate.
Those things that prevent me from seeking Jesus? Those things that prevent me from fighting through the crowd of my own shame to touch his hem? They can strangle and become a place of isolation. They become death.
As we read about the synagogue ruler and the sick woman, we discover their shared emotion: desperation, and their shared action: seeking.
We know their desperation prompted them to seek out Jesus. They each faced a circumstance that was beyond their ability to affect the outcome. In fact, the woman spent all that she had trying to find a cure; and the leader probably consulted the best of the best in the medical field on behalf of his precious daughter.
So imagine these two people from two very different walks of life. Jairus, the synagogue leader kneeling before Jesus, and the rejected woman weaving in and out of the crowd, both desperate for Jesus’ healing power.
One approached with boldness.
One came in secret.
Yet, both saw the power of Jesus demonstrated in their lives.
One had to fight through his pride, and the other her shame. Both needed to focus on belief in Jesus and not what the crowd or their own thoughts told them.
Lord Jesus, may your words ring louder in our hearts and minds than the words of the people around us or our own doubting thoughts. Let our fear subside and belief grow. We are desperate for you and seeking you with our whole heart. May we lay our pride and shame down and come boldly before you because you are a God of grace, mercy, and kindness. Lord, we trust you, we love you, and we give you our all. In Jesus name, Amen.