Day 19: Be Present
Friday, February 25, 2022
One of the habits we see in the life of Jesus is his ability to slow down. On the surface, this may not sound like much. Compared to all-night prayer sessions and forty days of fasting, this doesn’t appear to be one of Jesus’ more remarkable traits. However, consider how much Jesus accomplished in his relatively few short years of ministry. He was busy, in demand, and had lots of pressure placed upon him by others. Amid all that, it is remarkable he could still slow down and be present with people who were hurting.
Today we read about one such instance. Jesus was in the midst of a crisis involving a prominent leader. It was urgent, with no time to spare. And yet, he takes time anyway.
“Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, pleading fervently with him. ‘My little daughter is dying,’ he said. ‘Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.’
Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, ‘If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.’ Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.
Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my robe?’
His disciples said to him, ‘Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, “Who touched me?”
But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.’”
Despite being in an urgent situation with Jairus, and being in the middle of a crowd, Jesus was still willing to slow down and pause for the sake of this woman. Here, he models what it means to be present. If we don’t come to a place of silence and stillness in our inner world, which can only happen through time in private with God, we rarely will be able to pause in our lives. Because he was willing to slow down and be present, he healed her not only physically but also spiritually, setting her free from guilt and shame.
We cannot live like Jesus if we are never willing to slow down. To do so, we must become more patient. Practice patience in a practical way at least once this week. Get in the longest line at the store. Drive the speed limit and come to a complete stop at stop signs. Write a letter on paper instead of email. Do something that forces you to slow down, be patient, and be present in the moment without looking at your phone to occupy your attention. Use your moments of slowing down to turn your attention to Jesus and present with Him wherever you are.
Ask God to help you see opportunities to bless someone else when you slow down—opportunities you otherwise would have missed. Consider how you will practice patience this week as a way of forcing yourself to slow down. Commit to follow through.
Prayer: “Lord, I want to follow Your example of being present. Amid urgency, help me slow down to hear Your voice and see as You see. Help me prioritize my time alone with You over my to-do list. Through this period of prayer and fasting, help me see the need of others around me whom You want to touch through me. I’m open to whatever You have for me today. Amen.”
By Dave Mann
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