Little Girl, I Say to You Arise!
By: Lisa Logan
“While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jarius, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher any more.” Hearing this, Jesus said to Jarius, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” When He arrived at the house of Jarius, He did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at Him, knowing that she was dead. But He took her by the hand and said, “Talitha Kum!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up.” (Mark 5: 31-42)
I can picture Jarius in this story recorded by Mark. Can you?
A well to-do and highly respected citizen of Capernaum pushes through the crowds to meet a simply-dressed Jesus. He is not there to greet Him as others are, he has come hopelessly to Jesus because his little girl is dying. Jesus is his only hope. Mark records Jarius’ plea: “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live” (Mk 5:23). Jarius is on his knees “pleading” with Jesus. His hands and shoulders trembling, face ashen, falling prostrate in worship before his Master, he pleads with Jesus to save her.
Have you been where Jarius is? Desperate? Anxious? On the brink of hopelessness because everything around you is crumbling? Luke records Jarius’ daughter as his only daughter (Lk 8:42). She is the apple of her father’s eye, daddy’s little girl whom he loves dearly, and yet she is lying on the point of death. He is grief-sticken. Perhaps you can identify with Jarius. I know I can. But friend, let’s step back and consider Jarius’ faith. He heard that Jesus was coming to Caparnaeum by boat, and so he has left his dear daughter’s death bed to find Jesus among the hundreds or thousands of others. From his words in Mark, we can see his great faith in Jesus: “Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live” (Mk 5:23). He believes that if Jesus will just touch the girl, she will be healed and live. Similarly, the centurion knew that Jesus didn’t need to be present to heal but only to speak the word (Mk 7:7). Jesus agrees and begins to walk to Jairus’ house with the pushing crowds, and on the way a woman reaches for Jesus’ cloak to be healed, causing Jesus to stop to speak with her. Jarius must have been anxious to get home on time. As they arrive at his house, he sees his friends’ sulken face, and hears his words: “Your daughter is dead,’ he said, ‘Don’t bother the teacher any more” (Mk 8:49).
Aren’t we like the friend of Jarius? We think we are bothering Jesus with our problems? Does He view our supplications before him as a distraction from the more important things He has to do? No! Take a look at Jesus’ comforting words to Jarius: “Hearing this, Jesus said to Jarius, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed’” (Mk 8:50). I can imagine that Jesus could feel pain and sadness in that moment too. Jesus’ ability to relate to pain is seen in the raising Lazarus from the dead, where he wept salty tears for his friend (Jn 11:33-35). He felt loss just like we do in our own lives. As we read on in the story, we see that Jesus only let in a few people in the house. Parents, close friends and his disciples. Why? Maybe because he wanted privacy for the little girl. Maybe he wanted to reduce the sensationalism of His miracle. But more than that, He wanted the unbelievers out of the house. He wanted words of faith and belief only to be spoken at the bed of this little girl. Our faith must be trained, too. That’s what Peter, James, and John were doing in the girls chamber. They were in training to have faith beyond the natural realm and to have faith in the heavenly Fathers’ will in the situation. With that, Jesus gently but firmly says: “‘Talitha Kum!’ Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up.” (8:54-55)
I love those words, Talitha Kum. They ring very powerfully for me personally. I heard them spoken to me when I was 19 years old after a spell of depression and crumbling circumstances. Everyone around me deserted me, the loved ones I believed would stick around left. I was without hope and I could not rise from the despair of my past. But He did not give up on me. Jesus said to me, “Little girl, arise!” Arise from the ashes, arise from the pain, arise! I knew that I would arise, even if I didn’t feel it in that moment. It wasn’t until months, or even years later that I arose and that full healing came, but when God spoke healing over my life I believed in His words. He put the pieces of my broken heart together and made me a new creation. When he breathed His spirit back into me, I felt pure joy and awe at His saving power. This is our God, He can bring the dead to life! His timing is perfect and I knew that He would choose the moment where His words of healing would be manifested. 2 Peter 3:8–9 reads:
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.”
Are you believing for something in your life today? Maybe illness is taking over your life, or someone close to you. Maybe someone you know is struggling with depression or you are. Maybe you’re experiencing the death of a loved one and the pain is too much to bear. Perhaps your heart is breaking because of circumstances out of your control. Have faith in Jesus like Jarius did. Push through the crowds. Push through everything that is coming against you that tells you everything but “trust in Him”. Fall prostrate at His feet believing that He is the only answer. Trust in His timing even if it is taking long, He arrives on time! Just like He did at the house of Jarius. Ignore the voices that tell you “it’s too late!” whether it is voices of people or words that you tell yourself. It’s never too late for Jesus. Listen to His comforting words, “Don’t be afraid, just believe!” (Mk 8:50). Just believe with all your heart, that He can, and that He will. He is calm in the midst of the storm. If you only but have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains (Lk 17:6). Hold this promise close to your heart.
Little girl, arise, you are not dead, only asleep. Awake from your bad dreams, fear and anxiety. Rub your eyes and push away the covers of your past. You are a new creation and you were born with purpose and great promise. Do not let the day pass you by with the memories of the past and the brokenness of yesterday. He makes all things beautiful. You are made new.