Parents, we can’t protect children from every threat in life, but we can take them to the Source of life. We can entrust our kids to Christ. Even then, however, our shoreline appeals may be followed by a difficult choice.
As Jairus and Jesus were going to Jairus’s home, “a messenger arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. He told him, ‘Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.’ But when Jesus heard what had happened, he said to Jairus, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed’ ” (Luke 8:49–50 NLT).
Jairus was whipsawed between the contrasting messages. The first, from the servants: “Your daughter is dead.” The second, from Jesus: “Don’t be afraid.” Horror called from one side. Hope compelled from the other. Tragedy, then trust. Jairus heard two voices and had to choose which one he would heed.
Don’t we all?
The hard reality of parenting reads something like this: you can do your best and still stand where Jairus stood. You can protect, pray, and keep all the bogeymen at bay and still find yourself in an ER at midnight or a drug rehab clinic on visitors’ Sunday, choosing between two voices: despair and belief. Jairus could have chosen despair. Who would have faulted him for deciding “Enough is enough”? He had no guarantee that Jesus could help. His daughter was dead. Jairus could have walked away. As parents, we’re so glad he didn’t.
Some of you find the story of Jairus difficult to hear. You prayed the same prayer he did, yet you found yourself in a cemetery facing every parent’s darkest night: the death of your child. No pain compares. What hope does the story of Jairus offer to you? Jesus resurrected Jairus’s child. Why didn’t he save yours?
God understands your question. He buried a child too. He hates death more than you do. That’s why he killed it. He “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light” (2 Tim. 1:10). For those who trust God, death is nothing more than a transition to heaven. Your child may not be in your arms, but your child is safely in his.
Others of you have been standing for a long time where Jairus stood. You’ve long since left the water’s edge of offered prayer but haven’t yet arrived at the household of answered prayer. You’ve wept a monsoon of tears for your child, enough to summon the attention of every angel and their neighbor to your cause. At times you’ve felt that a breakthrough was nearing, that Christ was following you to your house. But you’re not so sure anymore. You find yourself alone on the path, wondering if Christ has forgotten you and your child.
He hasn’t. He never dismisses a parent’s prayer. Keep giving your child to God, and in the right time and the right way, God will give your child back to you.