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Why Bother?

Mark 5: 35 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?”

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After working all day I came home to a sink full of dishes, dog puke on the floor, and stuffing from the dog bed strewn all over the house.  On top of all that I have a cold that has worn me down and all I wanted to do was go to bed.  I wasn’t just frustrated, I was despondent.  I thought, why bother? Have you ever felt that way?

Has there ever been a time when you couldn’t see the point of trying anymore?  For instance, ever had the same argument over and over, you know the one that never gets resolved.  Eventually you get to the point where you know all the aspects of the other persons point of view and you can’t agree to disagree.   Or maybe you’re a parent and your kids are living out their lives contrary to everything you’ve taught them. You’ve talked to them until you’re blue in the face, but they continue to live life their way.   Maybe you have to work to pay for your living expenses and college, but going to college means you can’t work as much which leaves you unable to pay your living expenses. Maybe your friends and parents are complaining about the time your not spending with them and the time you have is spent trying to keep a delicate balance between your job, your family, your parents, and your social life.  Maybe you’re married and you feel like you do everything and get none of the credit.  Your spouse doesn’t seem to notice or care about everything you do in a day.   Maybe you need more money but there’s not enough time in the day to work more and not enough money in your check to survive the end of the day. Maybe you’ve been trying to lose weight and every time you recommit someone brings a cheesecake your way.  Maybe your job feels like a dead end. Maybe you have an addiction or an affliction and no matter how hard you try to beat it, it keeps you beat down.  Why bother?

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Yeah I’ve been there. Don’t feel alone.

Whatever your problem is sometimes it feels like life is just too hard. It’s like no matter how hard you try you just can’t please everyone. No one is ever happy. Including you.

So why bother?

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Why do we bother? The answer I think is pretty simple, because we have to. We don’t get to tap out. No matter how much we want to. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a stunt double for life? It’d be nice to call “Cut!” and put our stunt double in while we sip a cool glass of lemonade by the pool. We go for a noon massage appointment while our stunt double handles thanksgiving with the in-laws, or teacher conferences, or the bills, or whatever scenario we choose to tap out for.

Life would be so much more enjoyable that way. Except it’s not reality.

The reality is life is hard. Life is unfair. Life can be frustrating and at times painfully disappointing. That’s life.  There are times when we feel we cannot survive one more erratic life occurrence. Trust me I know, I’ve lived through a handful already. But we can’t give up hope that one day it’ll change for the better.

In the Biblical account in Mark 5: 21-35, Jairus has come to Jesus to ask that Jesus heal his daughter who is on the brink of death. Jesus agrees to go but on his way he stops and heals a women whos condition is not life threatening. He takes time Jairus’ daughter doesn’t have.  As it turns out, the child dies.  It appears Jesus had his priorities mixed up. Members of Jairus’ house bring him the news and add the question, “why bother the teacher anymore?”

It’s a legit question. If you have no hope that things can change, why bother?

The girl in the story is said to be 12 years old.  The women who was healed had coincidently been bleeding for 12 years.  Twelve years prior Jairus was celebrating the birth of his new baby girl and the women was discovering she had a health issue. For twelve years Jairus and his family enjoyed a good life. He was the leader of a synagogue, lived well and was respected in his community. For twelve years they would live life full of family and friends, birthdays and celebrations. But the women, for twelve years she would spend every dime she had looking for a cure. She would lose whatever social standing she had in her community, since bleeding for a women in those days made her unclean. She would live unable to participate in ceremonies and shunned by society. She would live the next twelve years desperate and lonely.  Imagine if she looked around her and saw how everyone else was living such fulfilling lives and instead of making one last attempt at healing she proclaimed, “Why bother?”

That’s of course not what happened at all.  The women came to Jesus with what little hope she had left and was healed.  When we check in on Jairus 12 years after the birth of his daughter, we find him in the same place the women is.  He is desperate, searching for a cure, and coming to Jesus with what little hope he had left. No sooner had Jesus healed the woman then did Jairus receive the news that his daughter was dead. Jairus’ hope was at a crucial point. He could’ve easily tapped out.  He could’ve thrown his hands in the air and walked away despondent.  He could have given up hope.  He could’ve screamed in Jesus face, “never mind, why bother?” But he chose to hang on.. Why? Because he had just seen a woman’s hope bring her healing and restoration. Her social life, her social standing, even her finances could turn around now. She had her life back.

Jairus had just seen a miracle and he knew if it could happen for her it could happen for his daughter too.

Spoiler alert, Jesus did restore the young girl to life. Not because she asked, but because her father didn’t give up hope. (Parents, family of addicted, friends of the afflicted, listen close.) Because he didn’t give up hope Jesus continued his trip to Jairus house. He showed up not when Jairus would’ve liked, when his daughter was still alive. He showed up after everyone had proclaimed her dead. Everyone but Jesus that is. While Jairus’ family was crying and wailing and throwing a drama fest, Jesus threw them out. (Don’t be afraid to throw out those things that try to steal your hope.) He didn’t listen to them, he knew the girl had potential.

Mark 5:41-42 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha Koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.

Other versions say “Damsel arise”, or “little girl arise”.  Jesus took a situation that appeared hopeless and dead and he restored, renewed, revived, it.  Don’t give up hope. Look for those people that have been through the situation before you. They are out there. And if you’ve been through it, share your hope. Like the women with the issue of blood, your healing could be someone else’s hope. That tiny ounce of hope may be all someone needs to see a miracle. It may not happen exactly when or how you want but miracles do still happen. Life may be tough but you can hang on to hope that comes from the words of someone whose been through it. Remember what they did in their situation and stay strong knowing if they can make it through so can you.

So why bother?  Bother because circumstances can change for the better.  Because the reality is you do care.  Because there is a world out there where life is so much harder than an endless disagreement or the struggle to pay for college or not eat cheesecake.  Because someone else is counting on you to make it through and Jesus is going to use your story in their life to give them that little bit of hope to keep going.  He actually does have his priorities straight.  I’ve used my own stories endless times to help others.  I remember a time in my own life when all hope seemed dead, then Jesus said to me, “Talitha Koum!” and this little girl got up.

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