“While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying,
“Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.”
But when Jesus heard it, He answered him saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.”
Your daughter is dead.
Four words that would collapse any parent’s world and send them spiraling, nauseated, choking, breathless, desperate, groping, lurched into the inky black darkness of loss with a voiceless scream, because they have no voice to answer those four words.
And yet, peeking in to the swirling, pulsing, torturous hum that enveloped this devestated father’s world was a single shaft of light for him to cling to:
Do not be afraid, only believe.
Two voices. One plunges the soul into despair. One challenges it to hope, to strain for something more, just out of sight.
I, too, am always choosing between these two voices:
The wallet is missing. ID, credit cards, everything! Everything’s gone! AAAAAHHHHHHHH!
What damage could someone do with all that information? Do not be afraid.
No way you have what it takes; you’re going to fail at this job. Only believe.
Bad news. Another bill you can’t afford. Do not be afraid.
Every single day, one shrill voice bears news that lures my shaken soul to collapse into fear and despair. It casts doubt, quotes statistics, counsels me not to bother, tells me not to trouble the Teacher.
Every single day, there is another voice that whispers steadily in low, warm tones. And I can hear it if I stop to listen:
Do not be afraid. I am here, right here.
He reminds me that I am not a trouble to Him. He asks me to come.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
One voice says ‘That burden is YOUR problem, YOU deserve it and it is YOURS to bear.’
But the other voice tells me to come to Him and take a break from burdens too heavy and problems too big. They are not too much for Him.
He is the shaft of light that interrupts my swirling darkness; who did not stand by silent when four awful words crushed a desperate father that day; who whispers to crushed souls still:
Do not be afraid, reach further, only believe for a little longer. I am here. Come to me.
And I am no trouble to the Teacher that wants me there,
no matter what the other voice says.