God as our leader and guide, Part 4

Has God ever guided you when you didn’t know that you were being led?  Apparently this happened to Jesus, and he only figured it out after the fact.  Listen:

Mark 5:21-34 (NRSV) 

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him.

Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.

Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?'” He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

Like most teachers and preachers, and probably most readers, I almost always focus on the amazing and courageous woman in this passage.  But, today I want to focus on the issue of God’s guidance and Jesus in this event.  Jesus is under pressure to hurry to the house of Jairus where a little girl is dying.  The disciples are attempting to serve as bodyguards to get him through the crowd safely and in a hurry; a job they often fill for Jesus.  Suddenly, Jesus realizes that God has done something through him – and without any current decision making on Jesus’ part.

Jesus has been guided and been a vessel for God’s mercy and grace, and he didn’t even know it until after the fact!

Perhaps a prayer that I often pray isn’t so strange or such a cop out after all.  In the light of this event, it seems like a pretty good prayer to say, “And God, please work through me and bless others even when I don’t know what I am doing!”  Now, I realize that not knowing what I am doing is a bit more drastic in my case (and I suspect in yours) than it was in Jesus’ daily life; nevertheless, I love the fact that God can work and bless others even when we are so focused on something else that we don’t even know exactly what is going on right around us at the moment.  This is guidance from God that I can use a lot more of.  “Father, hear that prayer.”  And, “Jesus, thank you for the honesty and the model.”

We do have a good and wonderful God!


As always, if you have any questions or thoughts about this post, or if there is another topic you’d like me to explore in a future post, please leave a comment. I always enjoy your questions and thoughts.


2 Comments On “God as our leader and guide, Part 4”

  1. The awesome thing that I have noted related to this phenomena is sometimes when you murmur a quick prayer before doing things that seem apparently very “unrelated to God’s plan or what you might think is the grand scheme” you can not only BE a blessing to those around you but THEY can be a tremendous blessing to YOU.
    Many years ago a patient I cared for at the hospital died unexpectedly and I felt a tremendous guilt that I had failed this guy as a physician. For months I was having a hard time coping with it and I felt guilty and unsure of myself before each patient interaction. I started praying before each patient, asking God to guide me and help me to be a servant to the patient before me… I was still struggling… It suddenly came to me that I should change my prayer and I started saying a quick prayer that not only would I be a blessing to the patient in front of me but that the patient would some how be a blessing to me… Not long after I started doing that I saw Mr X a very old gentleman and one of my favorite patients… When I opened the appointment by asking him how he was doing he started to tell me about his very good friend who had recently died unexpectedly. Inwardly I began to cringe, as he was describing the patient who I had been assigned to from the emergency room and who had died under my watch… His next statement shed an entirely new light on it… He said “I just wish I could die like that guy.” He went on to explain how he was old, new he was near the end of his life and hoped to have a quick leaving, such as his friend had had…. His seemingly casual comment was a tremendous source of blessing and healing to me that day. He is gone now too but it was just one of the many examples when patients of mine have given me a tremendous gift when they didn’t even know what they were doing…


  2. Janet. Thank you so much for this wonderful story illustrating how God works when we do not know it, and how God so often blesses us through those we attempt to be a blessing to. May we all remember! Thanks again. / Ron S


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