For years, just like many of you, of course, I've read the story of Jairus' daughter whom Jesus healed and then told her to "Get up!" And she did and began to walk around.
Somehow, I have just skimmed past what the parents thought or said or how they reacted. I was reading it in the KJV today and just had to laugh. Their response: They were astonished with a great astonishment.
When I checked other versions, it's pretty much the same, of course, but this had jumped out at me.
Now, of course, they were astonished. This much-loved 12-year old was already dead, according to those involved in their home. Wouldn't we be crushed at the loss, and then astonished at that glorious change?
What it made me wonder today was, even though I've not walked through anything like this, has the Lord made me "astonished with a great astonishment"?
The answer is YES!!
In April, 1966, He broke into my life when there was no "logic" for it, and because of that breakthrough my whole life is different, drowned in hope instead of buried in hopelessness.
He healed my heart twice in two different churches here in Omaha -- Oct., '84 and Feb., '85. I was headed towards stroke, heart attack or death in my late 30s... and He touched it twice in 4 months and the pain and abnormal heartbeats stopped. I was very "astonished with a great astonishment". Doctors, meds, nothing made a difference. He did.
He dropped Dave into my life in May, 1985. I would never have imagined a man like him. When we were casually talking one day, even though I was very frank with him about my background, he didn't even blink. He was much younger than I -- 14+ years younger -- was a youth leader, highly respected at church, a wonderful pianist, and a giver beyond belief, both then and now. Since Day One, he has always treated me with great respect. He appreciates me, and expects nothing. He wants me to be "myself", whatever that might mean, wherever I might be in life. He wants me to serve the Lord the way He calls me, period. For nearly 27 years, these never-anticipated-in-my-life years, I am often "astonished with a great astonishment".
A major blessing: Traveling to Uganda, Morocco, Costa Rica, England, Paris, Canada...and all around the U.S. since the late 1980s. Previously, I was rarely able to travel outside the nearest locations wherever I was living, because of poverty and responsibility. But missions and serving was laid in my heart when I was 10 years old and Jim Elliot was killed in Ecuador in January, 1956... I read it in the newspaper on the floor in my living room in Tacoma, WA, and the desire to go and help piled into me then. I had very little knowledge of the Lord at that time. SO, from 10 to 42, I traveled very little... then that exploded in both time and distance. To having traveled, ministered, given, shared, loved... and been loved... I am overwhelmed with the kindness and joy that the Lord has placed in my life... "astonished with a great astonishment".
And I could place a mile-long list of wonderful friends and family the Lord has dropped into my life. The only reason I can't put too many details is if I forget someone, somehow, they might be hurt; and, if I mention someone who wants to be kept in the background they might be hurt... so I can't risk it. But, considering my former horrible behavior and my ugly lifestyle and the stresses even after the Lord broke into my life, to be blessed, loved and cared for by so many "sweethearts".... I am regularly "astonished with a great astonishment".
And how did this pour into me today?...
"Mark 5:40 ... he [Jesus] taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. 41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. 42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.