The situation was this. Jesus arrived into town and immediately a large crowd formed.  Seeing this, Jairus the leader of the synagogue came and asked Jesus to come quickly, his daughter was dying. So Jesus and the crowd headed for Jarius’ home, but along the way Jesus was side-tracked.

I’ve learned over the years that there can be many diversions.  The best laid plans often just don’t work out the way I’d prayerfully planned. I’ve learned that those diversions which are from God are usually His course corrections and work out for good. But those that are of my own doing, don’t always work out so well.

This diversion was a woman, who clearly “believed”.  And her belief, though causing a diversion for Jesus and Jarius, not to mention the crowd, resulted in her healing after 12 years of suffering. Now Jarius and the crowd had just witnessed a major miracle. For 12 years this woman suffered.  It is likely that many of those in the crowd knew her and her suffering—so watch what happens.  After telling the woman that because of her faith she was healed, Jarius’s servants arrive and tell Jarius and Jesus, The little girl is dead, don’t bother the teacher any longer.  Now what did the crowd learn from the woman’s healing?  NOTHING!  Clearly their believing had an end point. Jesus can heal the sick. But if the sickness results in death, then there is no hope, no healing, for death. The crowd showed that there was a limit to what Jesus can do.

So here’s our question, God’s own question to me. Is God big enough to fulfill the assignment He has given you?  The little girl was healed from the moment Jesus agreed to go with Jarius, but Jarius did not understand this.  The woman with the flow of blood did understand this, so she was not delaying Jesus, rather she was giving Him another opportunity to reveal His glory.  Yes, she wanted to be healed! Yes, she did not want to be washing her clothes constantly from the bloody mess. But deep down she believed.  She believed that Jesus would ensure good would come from whatever befell her or anyone else. This was not a diversion, it was an opportunity for Jesus to reveal Himself.

Don’t be afraid Jesus said to Jarius.  This means that once he heard his beloved daughter had died, he lost hope. He became afraid. I can relate to Jarius’ fear. Many times in my life and work I have felt afraid.
When my appendix ruptured – I was afraid.
When my business lost $52,000 – I was afraid.
When my business partner had a debilitating stroke – I was afraid.
When my boys needed tuition for school – I was afraid.

These are just a few of the times I have lost my focus, when I listened to the crowd and not to His Spirit.  Yet in the midst of these diversions, there was an opportunity.  He turned each fear into an opportunity for His glory.

Jesus says to us in the midst of our fears – Do not be afraid, Just believe.
Just Believe simply means to walk by faith, not by sight.  We are not to look behind, nor are we to look ahead as far as we can see.  Rather we are to look beyond.

Mark 5:26 “Don’t be afraid; just believe,” was the theme of last week’s OPEN Connect.  I’ll be writing on this theme for the next few weeks.  If you were at the OPEN Connect, keep implementing your applications from the week.  If you weren’t able to make it, it was an awesome Jesus time.  For you, the following is a brief recap, with comments by those who participated.

  • 190 adults were inspired, encouraged and nurtured.  The speakers were a great encouragement.  I look forward to more!
  • 72 children grew in their relationship with Jesus and had a blast doing it.  Mom, do we really have to go home?
  • 9 businesses presented to the Lions’ Den (Shark’s Tank).  3 businesses walked away with $10,000 another with $25,000 and one with $80,000 for $135,000 invested.  The Lions’ Den was beyond awesome.
  • 48 workshops.  This workshop changed my thinking on the ways I should reach out to my employees and customers.
  • 4 hours of planned networking and 5 hours of general networking. I did not know others were doing the same business I was!  Thanks for connecting us!
  • Inspiring worship, twice a day.  At the Bangkok OPEN Connect I believe I told you “The worship was a home run!” How do you top that? Well this year the worship was a grand slam!
  • Special times for women.  I absolutely loved being in the environment of the OPEN Connect.  We truly connected with people who inspired and spurred me on.  I met more ladies than I expected who I could relate to on many levels.

As with the Bangkok OPEN Connect, I was humbled to be with amazing, godly people who have amazing God stories.  We’ve come far in the last two years, and I eagerly anticipate where we’ll be in two more.

PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.

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