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I've often wished I had never heard the words, “Your husband has cancer.” They are hope-sucking words. Those four words were the ones Xylon and I heard a few months after marriage. And then two more times in the years since. Each time the doctor has spoken them I’ve felt God whisper into the dark corners of heart time-and-again: “Just trust me.”
I don’t think anyone likes hearing the phrase, “Just trust me.” But sometimes that is just what God requires of us. When I’m worried about what is going to happen next, when I’m stressed out over what the doctors results will say, or when I feel like I have no hope because I can’t see my dreams ever being reality that’s when I hear it, quiet, firm, “Just trust me.”
They are the same words that Jesus spoke to Jairus in Mark 5:35. While he was still talking, some people came from the leader’s house and told him, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?”
Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, “Don’t listen to them; just trust me.”
I can’t imagine how I would feel if I had just been told that my daughter had died. I’m pretty sure I would have felt like the words, “Don’t listen to them; just trust me,” wouldn’t fix anything. I would have wondered if Jesus really understood my pain. And at the same time I would have known that Jesus was my only hope.
One thing I’ve learned in the almost four years since Xylon’s cancer diagnosis is that when the rest of the world is saying there’s no hope, Jesus is standing there saying, “They’re wrong.” When everyone else is questioning if Jesus really cares about the hard things we’re going through, I listen for his voice declaring, “Don’t listen to them; just trust me.”
Perhaps what I love most about this short encounter between Jairus and Jesus is that there is mystery. Jesus doesn’t tell Jairus that his daughter is in fact dead, or that he’ll have to raise her back to life. Jesus invites Jairus to trust him in the mystery. And Jairus does, and as he does, he finds hope. He does not know that Jesus will make everything better, unlike us he hasn’t read the end of the story, he can’t foretell that Jesus will bring his daughter back from the dead.
Jairus only has Jesus’ words to hope in. When everyone else was saying, “You have no hope!” Jesus was saying, “I am your hope!” Sometimes that’s all I have too. Jesus’ words calling to me, as I hold my husbands’ hand in the oncology waiting room, “Just trust me.”
I am learning that our stories were written for God restore them.
One thing I’ve learned is that the dark days will give way to days of laughter, days where you will see hair grow where there was none, and gratitude will pour from your mouth because of the God who has brought you through.
A Prayer for Hope
If today you’re struggling to find hope in dark places and are looking for words to pray, I hope these help:
Lord, help me to hear you saying, "I am your hope" over all the other voices. Lord, your word says, you are the hope for hopeless so I'm running to you with both hands stretched out and grabbing on to you. Fill me up with hope and give me a tangible reminder today that hope is an unbreakable spiritual lifeline (Hebrews 6:19-20). God, you know those things in my heart that I barely dare to hope for, today I give them to you, I trust them to you, and ask that you because I know that you can do more than I could ever guess, imagine or request in wildest dreams (Eph 3:20). God, you are my hope and I trust you. Amen.
Wendy van Eyck is married to Xylon, who talks non-stop about cycling, and makes her laugh. She writes for anyone who has ever held a loved one’s hand through illness, ever believed in God despite hard circumstances or ever left on a spontaneous 2-week holiday through a foreign land with just a backpack. You can follow Wendy’s story and subscribe to receive her free ebook, “Life, life and more life” at ilovedevotionals.com. She would also love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.Prayer for Healing
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