Mark 1:29-31 “As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the house of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand, and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.”
This day was a Sabbath, and Jesus had already spent a full day teaching in the synagogue. From my own experience, I know that after a full morning of preaching and teaching, there is nothing I want more than a nap on Sunday afternoon. On this day, you might expect that Jesus was ready to hang it up.
But Jesus’ mercy never tires. When they tell him about Peter’s mother-in-law, he doesn’t hesitate. He goes to her and makes her fever disappear. And it’s not like it is when your fever breaks, and you feel lazy and listless for another day. She gets up and serves the meal. In his mercy, Jesus relieved her pain, immediately and fully.
Do you note that her condition was a fever? Luke tells us it was a high fever, but he was not raising her from the dead, or curing an incurable disease, or restoring sight or crippled hands or feet–the kind of life altering or life ending conditions that generally cannot be changed. She had a fever. Have you ever had a fever? Didn’t come and go? Yet, this family didn’t consider her condition too unimportant to ask for Jesus’ help, and Jesus didn’t consider himself too busy or too tired to help. He made the fever go away. His mercy never tires.
Do you remember when the mothers brought the babies and children to Jesus for his blessing, and the disciples tried to shoo them away? They thought that Jesus was too busy. They considered these children too insignificant for Jesus to give them his attention. Do we do to ourselves what those disciples tried to do to those children? We consider our troubles too small, ourselves too insignificant, and Jesus too busy to bother him with our little pains, heartaches, and concerns. Then we are stunting our prayer life. We are letting Satan use a false sense of humility to place an obstacle between us and Jesus’ love. We are standing in the way of our own faith, and denying ourselves the help he wants to give us in his mercy. “Ask…seek…knock,” Jesus says. He doesn’t put any conditions or qualifiers on how much, how serious, or how often.
Jesus’ mercy for us never tires. But maybe you are thinking, “Then why doesn’t he? Why doesn’t he give me some relief? My heart is broken. My body is falling apart. My life is miserable. Where is his mercy?” To which I say: “Trust him.” This is not the place to let your experience be the judge. His word, the example we see here from his life, is a better indicator of his love than what you feel. Trust his promises.
If today it seems as though he is not relieving your pain, then remember that he always gives us what we ask for, or he gives us something better. Hasn’t he promised that his Father gives only good gifts to those who ask? Maybe your present pain contains a gift that you haven’t discovered yet. Hasn’t he promised that no one who gives up houses or family or fields for his sake will fail to receive a hundred times as much or to inherit eternal life? Hasn’t he promised that you will have much trouble in the world, but take heart; he has overcome the world? Hasn’t he promised that the gift of his kingdom alone–the gift of living under him as your Lord and Savior by faith now and by sight in the life to come–is like the treasure hidden in a field, or the one pearl of great price that is worth giving up everything else in order to possess?
Jesus has not grown tired of showing mercy to you. Sooner or later, whether in this life or the life to come, he will relieve your pain, too.