No use


By Tom Wiles | For The Times-Post

While he was still speaking to her, 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 had heard what had happened, he said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed.” — Luke 8:40-56

Dumbfounded, my wife and I watched the true movie scene unfold.

After an unlikely rescue, John Smith was rushed to the emergency room where he was declared dead for 45 minutes.

His mother arrived, ran to his corpse and began wailing out to God for his life to return.

Every medical team member watching had that “it’s no use” look on their face until the beep returned to the still-attached heart monitor.

Surely Jairus’ knees buckled when word of his daughter’s passing reached him.

Jesus heard and locked eyes with him. He spoke courage and strength into the man.

Jairus managed to make the trip home buoyed only by the presence of Jesus, the one to whom he had run in desperation.

They arrived, and Jesus, with a touch and a word, raised her to life and returned her to her parents’ aching arms.

I don’t know how to answer your question.

Why them and not (fill in the blank)?

The mysteries surrounding the eternal piercing the temporary will remain for you and me.

As will the truth that crying out to Jesus is never in the category of being of “no use” – just ask John’s mom or Jairus.

Our faith inspires the cry.

His will determines the outcome.

So, what’s it going to be? Will Jesus hear our cries today?

Who matters more

So, the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. — Acts 16:16-34

Shoveling asphalt all summer long wasn’t much of a summer vacation, but it was truly a time of extended educational opportunities during my college summers.

Jimmy, my fellow shoveler, never complained.

He was never outworked.

He was respectful in word and deed to every member of our crew.

He would grab his Bible during our super-mini lunch breaks and truly shine when it was easier not to.

Who we are matters so much more than where we are.

Paul and Silas were on a mission.

The slave girl with the evil spirit following them around and yelling wasn’t helping.

Once the evil spirit was cast out by Paul, her fortune-telling days were over.

Her owners took out their anger on Paul and Silas over lost income.

Although they did nothing wrong, they were brutally beaten and thrown in jail.

So, what do you do when you’re in a hard place you didn’t think you’d be?

They prayed and praised.

As a result, people were led to faith in Jesus.

“Where” gets so much of our attention.

Where should I work? Where should I live? Where am I heading in life?

It’s not that “Where?” is a bad question, it’s just that it’s a secondary question.

Oftentimes, it finds resolution in the pursuit of the primary question which is, “Who?”

Paul and Silas model for us here that being the right person is more important than being in the right place.

God can use us wherever we are physically as long as we are wholly surrendered spiritually.

God at work

Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “Hushai’s advice is better than Ahithophel’s.” For the Lord had determined to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel, which really was the better plan, so that he could bring disaster upon Absalom! — II Samuel 17

I used to think that summer was road construction season.

However, the never-ending reality of flashing signs and orange barrels lining the highways reveal that now all seasons are construction season.

The crews work during the day. They work during the night.

The evidence of their work isn’t only seen in traffic jams, but also in smooth roads and stable bridges, for which, we are all grateful.

Family problems are one thing, but a brother assaulting his sister, a brother killing his brother and a son attempting to kill his father is something completely different.

It goes way beyond the average family dysfunction.

This description is of King David’s family!

In the middle of this literal royal mess, we see God at work accomplishing his purposes.

No wise guy was going to derail that train.

Are there any messes in your world today?

Be encouraged.

God is still at work.

Seek him with your whole heart and ask him to show you where.

When he does, join him!

He’s not done with you or you wouldn’t be here.

Also, by the way, if you are providing the fuel for some of the messes around you, now is a great time to stop and change course.

Tom Wiles is senior minister of Fall Creek Christian Church in Pendleton. He can be reached at 765-778-3166.

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