SCRIPTURE: Mark 5:41 (TM) – larger reading Mark 5:21-43
He clasped the girl's hand and said, "Talitha - koum," which means, "Little girl, get up."
In the mid 1800’s Francis Thompson was in the throes of battle with truth. Ravished by alcohol and drug abuse, He had begun to sense the relentless pursuit of the Holy Spirit, and the harder he ran, the more he felt the hot breath (so to speak) of what he called “The Hound of Heaven” on his heels. He found there was no speed fast enough to outrun God; no place to hide from God; no safe haven, no place of rest, no armor or weapon that would serve to help him against the One he was striving so desperately to avoid.
Here are just a couple of short excerpts from his poem, “The Hound of Heaven”
“So my pursuer persisted; never rushed or agitated, always steady,
constantly in control. And, continually I heard the accompanying Voice that
spoke above the sound of the footfalls, now saying, ‘There is nothing which will hide you...you who will not hide Me in your heart’.”
“The chase continues, the Pursuer coming closer to the one pursued;
never rushed or agitated, constantly in control. And, always
the Voice - if anything, faster than the Feet - ‘Listen! Nothing
will ever bring contentment to you; you who resist contenting Me’.”
Finally, at the end of his poem, having given up and surrendered to the One who would not let him get away, he says:
“Now the One who was always pursuing from behind is alongside.
The chase is ended. I sense a darkness. Is it danger?
No, it is rather the shadow of His hand of affection reaching out to me. And, this
One who has chased so relentlessly after me says, ‘You who were so foolish, so blind to
the truth, so utterly weak; I am the One whom you have always sought in all of
your furious searches for security, well-being, and wholeness.
You find all you want and need when you walk with Me’.”
How long do I run away from God? To what end be the results of such foolishness? I am asleep to spiritual reality. The truth is within my grasp and yet it still escapes me. The closer God gets the faster I run. Please don’t catch me today. I cannot handle it. Must I face you God, but please allow it be another day.
I am tired, weary, worn out, spent. My spiritual legs no longer work. My conviction to be my own person becomes transparent. Yes, transparent. God sees through my arguments. My protests are but a smoke screen.
God is there… at the very threshold of my heart. The thought is overpowering and then the unthinkable happens. He takes ahold of my heart and declares for all to hear – “get up” – I remain paralyzed – “get up” – it is more emphatic – “get up” – I protest – I am spoiled – I too can be emphatic – “I don’t want to!” – “get up” – it doesn’t seem to be optional – “get up” … and so, I get up – the pursuit has ended. The Almighty has won, but alas so have I.
Help me to be not so much wrapped up within my self that I fail to see and appreciate the life offered in the command to “get up”.