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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 074 - Crash and Burn

While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

Mark 5:35,36

We’ve all experienced it. Things are going well. Things may be going very well. In the words of Ray Stevens, “Everything is Beautiful[1].” Gentle sunlight sparkles off the sweet morning dew. There’s a hint of honeysuckle in the air. The birds are singing in the background of this quiet, peaceful morning.

As you go through the day, everything just seems to go your way. All the traffic signals turn green as you approach. Someone pulls out, giving you a parking space that’s right up front. As you get ready to checkout from the grocery store, a cashier comes up and invites you to their empty aisle. And to top it all off, you stand on the scale only to see that you’ve lost a few pounds.

Yes, “Everything is coming up roses[2].” Life is as it should be. Peaceful. Calm, Pain-free. Relaxed.

And then the bottom drops out. Nothing works. Your bank account gets hacked. The car won’t start. You go to the freezer in the garage only to discover water on the floor and all the food has spoiled.

Your day completely breaks apart. Your life has gone thud and splat as it falls face first into the mud. You have crashed and burned.

All these are only a small taste of what happened to Jairus. As a father, he was completely helpless and desperate. His little girl got ill and just kept getting worse and worse. He leaves home and comes, pleading with Jesus, to heal his precious daughter. He’s at the bottom of life.

Jesus agrees, and his heart rejoices with hope. And while they’re walking along, Jesus stops and starts looking around. “Come on Jesus, we have to get to my house so you can heal my daughter.” And when Jesus heals this woman, how his heart must have celebrated. “If Jesus can heal this woman, then he certainly can heal my little girl.”

Then messengers arrive with the words that no parent wants to hear. Your child is dead. Dead is dead. There are no more options. There’s nothing more to be done. There’s no more time. There’s no more hope.

When our lives crash and burn, it is accompanied with a side trip to the land of “what if.” What if I had come earlier? What if I had run instead of walked? What if we had walked faster? What if we had taken another route?

As this father walks into the valley of the shadow of death, Jesus comes along side and speaks words of comfort and hope. As Jesus talks to this crushed father, he is also speaking to you and me.

· Don’t be afraid – We’ve moved into the land of fear and Jesus tells us to stop being afraid. Our hearts and minds race with fear, and Jesus says that we need to clean them out. But how do we do that? That’s where the second step comes in.

· Just believe – Jesus says to stop our continual fearing and replace it with continual believing. We can’t think about two different thoughts at the same time. It’s one or the other. Jesus tells us to push out our fear with replace it with trust in him.

These aren’t empty leaps off a cliff into thin air, where there’s no one to catch us. No, these are running into the arms of a person. They take our eyes off ourselves and the impossible situation that has come crashing down on us.

When Mary Ann’s diagnosis of cancer was confirmed, my head raced with all sorts of thoughts, fears, and doubts. Even when the surgeon reported that “we got it all,” I wondered. And after the numerous radiation treatments successfully destroyed any remaining pieces of it, there was this gnawing, empty uncertainty about the future. What happens next? How long till something else happens?

When I try and figure life out, when I put all the pressure on myself to make life right, I stumble, fall, and fail. I crash and burn in a pile of broken pieces. But when I turn to Jesus, he picks me up and tells me the same words he said to that broken father. Don’t be afraid. Only believe.

Don’t be afraid. Only believe. Replace your fear with trust in me. Trust that I’m God and this was not a surprise. Belief that Jesus is stronger and bigger than any of life’s tragedies. Faith in him as the one who loves me and is taking care of me. Certainty that he will never leave me, forsake me.

No matter what your crash and burn looks like, no matter how devastating it is, Jesus is your answer. He is your savior. He is your God.

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