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Twelve Years

Twelve years. They pass in the blink of an eye. Anyone who has had a 12-year-old daughter knows that it seems like only yesterday that she took her first steps. At 12 years old, the daughter of Jairus should be anticipating womanhood, but instead, she lays on the threshold of death.

Twelve years. The days drag by. Today is no better than yesterday and tomorrow promises nothing better. She has been treated by doctor after doctor with no relief. In fact, the blood disorder just seems to grow worse.

Twelve years. It goes by quickly or it moves at a snail’s pace – it all depends upon your perspective. For Jairus, no doubt, twelve years went by way too quickly. But for a woman enduring a blood disorder for twelve years, how those years must have seemed like an eternity.

Two very different people with very different perspectives on the passage of twelve years. But both turned to Jesus on the same day. And both found in Jesus just what they needed. Jairus, kneeling before Jesus with an unabashed, unapologetic reverence, sought a healing touch for his 12-year-old daughter. The woman, quietly and cautiously came up behind Jesus, seeking only to touch the garment of the one she believed would end her twelve years of anguish.

Jairus, though he was a man of standing and a ruler of the synagogue, could only watch as his little girl’s life drained away. The woman, excluded from society and judged unclean by a relentless disease, had nowhere to turn for help. To those in the crowd, it may have appeared that Jesus was their last hope, but the truth is that he was their only hope.

Twelve years of anguish end and life begins anew with Jesus’ precious words, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” At twelve years, a precious life continues and instead of preparing for a funeral, her parents are instructed to prepare something for her to eat. And the difference that Jesus made in both of these lives is also possible in our spiritual lives.

Whether time seems to fly or crawl, it is a gift from God – a gift that we should cherish and resolve to use to his glory. For one day our time will be up and we will face an endless eternity – and our use of the time God has given us will determine what that eternity holds.

Thomas Larkin

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