By Adewale Sanyaolu Despite being a country with the second largest deposit of bitumen in the world, Nigeria, according to Foraminifera, a marketing and research firm, spends about N2 billion yearly on importation of asphalt, a derivative of bitumen. The occurrence of bitumen deposits in Nigeria is twice the amount of existing reserves of crude…
There are different types of people in the world: the loud and the quiet. Some people’s behaviour is predicated on what other people do or say, while some tend to be independent in thought and behaviour. The extent to which individuals incline to one habit or another varies and it is difficult, however, to conclude absolutely that one class of behaviour is preferred to the other. It depends on circumstances. In Mark 5:22-43, we meet two types of people saddled with problems and at the end of the day, they received deliverance in spite of the obvious difference in their approach.
Jairus, a Jewish leader, had a biting problem and he came to see Jesus. His twelve-year-old daughter was at the point of death. Defying the scorn of the Jewish leaders towards Jesus and not minding his station in life, he bowed before Him in public, soliciting for help. Jesus, the friend of sinners, left immediately for his house with a large crowd of people following Him. A woman, suffering from a flow of blood for twelve years, in fact, from the year the sick daughter of Jairus was born, heard that Jesus was passing by and decided immediately to exploit the opportunity. Would she, like Uncle Jairus, be ‘nice’ by booking an appointment with Jesus? Not her, not a woman who had suffered for such a long period of time spending all her resources in paying hospital bills and yet, nothing good came out of it.
If nobody had been bold to tell her that she was stinking, their body language delivered the message. If not, why were people, including her close family members, avoiding her? Why were school children always pinching their nostrils each time she was passing? Would she stand at a strategic position where Jesus would see her or would she just sit down and wait until Jesus touched her as He did to lepers and blind people? “And if I waited and He did not touch me,” she must have reasoned, “it means going home in this shameful condition. It means missing this opportunity God has given me by bringing Dr. Jesus to my doorsteps?” Not me! Never!
She must have quoted to herself the English adage that says, “If you do not say, ‘I am’, nobody will say, ‘thou art’”. Reviewing her life from cradle and what people’s attitude towards her had always been, she realised that her destiny was in her hands. She knew that her healing depended on what she would do and not what any other person would do. Her mind was then made up. She would not queue behind Jairus. Jairus would rather queue behind her. She would take the plunge by touching the hem of the garment of Jesus.
She knew that if she sought the advice of someone on her intended action, the person would only sermonise on her predicament. “Have you ever heard that somebody touched the hem of His garment? Is He not the One that touches the sick? Healing only manifests when He touches you and not when you touch Him. Is it tomorrow or next week you want to touch Him?” the person would have asked. “Tomorrow ke, I am going to touch Him now,” she would have replied. “Can a lady, anyway, in broad-day light, touch a man? Will it not be misconstrued that you are toasting Him?” the person would have replied in ridicule and disdain. She swept all pessimism underfoot. Against all custom, all prudence, all imagination, she rushed and touched the Lord Jesus and was healed immediately. Her healing did not also follow protocol.
You may be right to be angry with her for causing ‘Go slow’ that day, by halting the mass and rush movement of Jesus and the crowd to the home of Jairus. That did not bother her, not a woman in deep pain. Is it not when we are healthy that we rationalise? You may criticise her for not bowing down before the Lord Jesus as Jairus did, that is your personal problem and not hers. You may accuse her of selfishness, not considering first her leader, Uncle Jairus, who was leading Jesus to his house and any delay could be at the peril of his daughter’s life trembling on a balance. That did not bother her, not an agonising woman. Jesus did not complain and Uncle Jairus also did not, not even when he received the sad news that his daughter had died.
If Uncle was a Lagosian, trust us, he would have been angry with Jesus for not cautioning the woman ‘from hell’ and would have abused her thoroughly, calling her a ‘whince’ [witch] before fighting her to a standstill. Jairus did not. He knew what many people today do not know, that Jesus is ‘Osimira a ta a ta’ [the Ocean that never dries no matter the amount of water drawn out of it]. The good news is that Jairus did not lose anything. Jesus went to his house and raised his daughter from death. Two major healings took place that day instead of one, kudos to a woman of faith!
What does this story mean to me? Do I not have problems that defy medication? Am I not troubled with chronic problems that sometimes bring me ridicule? Is this month, March, not the month of marching forward? I will march forward in all my endeavours. Nothing will limit me. Nobody will limit me. Nobody will hinder me. Why should I bother what people will say, when they gossip behind me because of my problem? Is it not a prayer topic in some homes, not really borne out of compassion for me, so that God will heal me, but a subtle way of broadcasting my misfortune?
Is the Lord Jesus not sitting on His Throne in Heaven, overseeing my affairs? Do I need to be ‘nice’ when I can, in faith, stretch out my hands to grasp what God has made available for me as a child of God? Who knows whether Uncle Jude had me in mind when he said: “…earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered unto the saints”. And Apostle Paul enjoins us: “To fight the good fight of faith.” The only fight we are allowed to fight.
Like this woman, who had suffered for long, I will do what she did, not minding protocol, by going now to touch the hem of His garment. Everything I have will do the same: family, business, bank account, et cetera. My story will thus change from now. Other people may wait till a convenient time to do the same, but I will not wait for a second. Other people may mind other people’s reaction, I will not mind anything. And here I GO to TOUCH Him, my Lord Jesus Christ.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]