How long, O Lord? -Psalm 13:1
The Psalmist in Psalm 13, repeatedly cries out, “How long…?” Our patience and God’s time rarely coincide. When it comes to personal tragedy, time is always at a premium.
In Mark’s Gospel time is noted for us in times of tragedy or trial. This keeps with the urgency of the gospel message, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news. (1:15)” Then we are thrown into a flurry of activity when time seems so urgent. A great example of that is in this week’s text, Mark 5:21-43. We see two situations. A very prominent leader in the religious community who has a daughter dying at home, and a woman who has an affliction now for 12 years.
We can hear the urgency in the pleading of Jarius for Jesus to come and lay his hands on his precious daughter before it is too late. We hear the frustration of the woman that for 12 years has suffered, and it has cost her everything. We can see Jarius walking ahead of Jesus, trying to move the crowds to get Jesus there faster. We can hear the conversation of the woman with herself as she jostles and tries to get closer to Jesus.
I am sure both of them are praying, “how long, O Lord?” Then when Jesus stops precious moments are slipping away for Jarius, couldn’t the woman had waited 15 more minutes. This gives us the perspective of what I call, Kingdom Time. The urgency of the Kingdom message was not just for Jarius when his little daughter is slipping toward death, it also includes the woman’s wait for 12 years to be delivered from her affliction.
What brought these two times together? Jesus was there. He was delaying his arrival, nor was he in a hurry to move on. He was there to bring Kingdom nearness to the lives of these two people. One had the attitude of this must happen “Now!” The other had the attitude of “now” I can touch him! If we discern the nature of our “now” or “how long”, we can be ready to allow the presence of Jesus and his power to come in and touch our personally tragedy.