While He (Jesus) was still speaking, someone from the ruler's house came and said, "Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more." But Jesus on hearing this answered him, "Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well." And when He came to the house ... And all were weeping and mourning for her, but He said, "Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at Him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand He called, saying, "Child, arise." And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. .... Luke 8:49-51a, 52-55b
About two years ago, a family went to Disney World in Orlando. There, the youngest of the family spotted one of the characters: Snow White. If you've been to Disney World, you know children simply mob those characters. That was certainly the case for this beautiful lady. She was hugged; she was questioned; she was photographed.
But the little boy in this family kept his distance.
No, it wasn't that he was too old for such things, nor was he disinterested. Truly, the lad wanted to get close to her just like all the other kids. He wanted to, but he was afraid. He wondered, suppose Snow White doesn't like me? Suppose Snow White tells me to go away?
Now you can understand why the boy just stood stock-still and stared.
The morning might have ended that way, but Snow White saw that little boy and worked her way over to him. Soon she stood by his side, bent down, and gave that little boy the hug he wanted: the hug he needed so desperately.
That hug was a transforming moment. After that the boy knew he was special; indeed, everybody around knew he was worth loving.
My friends, please believe me when I say that is what Jesus has done for you. He has seen you, all alone, by yourself. He saw you and came to you. Born in Bethlehem, He came, not to hug you or hold you. No, He did far more. He lived for you. He died for you. He rose for you. He came so the world may know -- so the gates of hell might know -- you are a person who is loved and saved.
Sadly, too many Christians act as if Jesus has done nothing for them. They look just as sad and despondent as do the people of this world.
That should not be.
To you, Jesus says, "In whatever bad situation, frightening circumstance, or directionless day you find yourself, do not doubt, but believe." If Jesus can heal the sick, raise the dead, feed the thousands, and still the storm, He can help you.
More than that, He has helped you in the past, and He will continue to help you through all your tomorrows. This is the Christ's commitment to all who have been brought to Him in faith.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive me when I doubt You are there to hear me, comfort me, and provide assistance. Grant me a clearer vision and a deeper appreciation of Your commitment and love. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries