The Dead-Line

by Lester Young

Deadlines. They’re all around us, everywhere we look. The world imposes them upon us at every turn: on the job, in our financial affairs – even our relationships can fall subject to them. You know what I mean. “I need that report on my desk first thing in the morning – or else!” “Your account is Past Due and must be paid by the close of business on Friday – or else!” “I want all crime stamped out of the east side of the city by five o’clock this afternoon – or else!!” You just can’t get away from them.

Taking a moment to consider the concept of deadlines a little more closely, we find that they’re very appropriately named – at least, as far as or own human thinking is concerned. Simply by looking at the word itself, even without drawing upon a clinical definition of it, we intuitively know that a ‘deadline’ is, at the very least, some point beyond which a situation’s characteristics, expectations or outcome is permanently altered. A point we view as “once crossed…well, it’s over and that’s that.”

Think about Jairus, for example. He was up against an extremely pressing – even literal – deadline. In Mark 5:23, we see him pleading with Jesus to come home with him, because his 12-year-old daughter was right up against the point of death as he spoke. The man was obviously frantic and desperate, because Mark 5:22 tells us he immediately fell down at Jesus’ feet – a mode of behavior the Jewish elders and synagogue rulers typically shied away from doing, especially out in public (John 12:42-43). Nevertheless, as any good father would, he loved and cherished his little girl and perceived a very dangerous deadline barreling down upon them.

Now, we all know the story: on the way home to his daughter, Jairus unexpectedly had to stop and wait (no doubt twiddling his thumbs and nervously shuffling his feet) while some other lady got her healing – and then she had the nerve to take up even more precious time testifying about it. As the Scripture says, she ended up telling Jesus all the truth (Mark 5:33); who knows where in her story the woman started?! And Jesus, by the way, stood there and listened to the whole thing, without so much as a throat-clearing to interrupt her and let her know that, “Hey, uh, this is all very interesting, Daughter; but we actually gotta go!”

Sure enough, as they dealt with her, messengers arrived from Jairus’ house with an ominous report, the very situation the man was trying so hard to outrace: Jairus’ little daughter had died. Can you imagine how he must have felt, the emotions that immediately started flooding in on him? Anguish, despair, and even a flash of hot anger toward both the woman with the issue of blood and Jesus for taking up all that precious time – time his daughter didn’t have to spare! “Well, that’s it; it’s over, she’s dead now.” You know that’s exactly what Satan was whispering to him because he used those messengers to say as much: “Your daughter’s already dead, so there’s no need to even bother troubling the Master any further” (Mark 5:35). In other words, ‘the deadline has passed; there’s nothing that can be done now.’

But Jesus didn’t share their assessment of the situation. And, since He only spoke, judged and acted as He saw or heard from His Father, we know that God didn’t hold their opinion, either (John 5:19, 30, 8:29). In fact, as soon as Jesus heard the messengers give the bad news, He jumped knee-deep into the middle of the conversation, not giving Jairus so much as a moment to react in any of the negative emotions he was undoubtedly struggling with. He told him not to fear the words of that evil report – in essence, to disregard them – and simply keep on doing what he was already in the process of doing: believing! (Mark 5:36)

Jairus was already ‘in faith’ concerning his daughter. He had gone to Jesus, and he’d spoken out what he believed was going to happen; that is, he’d made a faith confession based on the ability of Jesus, Who is the Word of God (Mark 5:23; John 1:14; Revelation 19:13). And, Jesus was on His way with him to do what Jairus had said, because He’s the High Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1). As long as Jairus didn’t back off of his confession, Jesus was not going to even think about saying to him, “I’m sorry; it’s too late for your situation.”

Ezekiel 37:11 paints a strikingly clear picture of the effects the devil wants a passing deadline to have on us: “Son of man, these bones…say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is lost; we are completely cut off.'” If we lose our hope – if we let our expectation in God’s promised deliverance dry up and shrivel away, and begin to think it’s too late or too far gone for Him to do anything about our situation – then, and only then, has Satan beaten us.

Deadlines press us for the sole purpose of stripping away our expectation in God’s power and desire to deliver us. But Jesus – and Jairus – showed that deadlines do not affect God. Now, I’m not saying that He couldn’t care less about them, because that’s just not God our Father. Because He cares about everything that affects us, the Lord certainly cares about our deadlines, too (1 Peter 5:7) – He’s just not limited by them. And if we continue on in faith even at the passing of a deadline, it won’t – it can’t – limit us from receiving what He’s promised, either.

If you like us, then be sure to LIKE Us…Thanks!


4 Comments to “The Dead-Line”

  1. Heyy…it’s good to have you back, Lester! Great post!

  2. Thanks for this most inspiring message. Gives new meaning to the expression “keep hope (and faith) alive”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: