Jairus means “Jehovah who enlightens.” This is not a commonly used name and until 2016, it didn’t mean anything significant for me more than any other name. However, through a series of personal challenges, Jairus suddenly became very meaningful to me and thus Jairus Bible World Ministries came to bear this name.
I married my wife in 2006. For 10 years, we battled with infertility. We tried every method available to us including Chinese herbal medicine and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Our five IVF attempts failed, and even our last-ditch effort to secure a pregnancy with an egg donor ended quickly when our donor changed her mind at the last minute. You can imagine the darkness my wife and I experienced. Through a long journey of relentless prayer and fighting to believe a prophetic promise from the Lord, God spoke to me in a dream and told me that my wife would soon become pregnant. Miraculously, and to our surprise, my wife found herself pregnant with our miracle daughter on May 28th, 2016. Elim, our crowning glory, was born healthy months later and remains our precious miracle baby.
Though our hearts are now filled with great joy, this ten-year process was not without many dark moments of the soul. When I look back, I can see that God tried to speak to me and give me strength many times, but I had a difficult time hearing him. The years between 2014 and 2016 were a time of transition for me. I didn’t know it at the time, but God was transitioning me from an Evangelical church to a Charismatic congregation and entrusting a ministry to me! I would move from a season of testing in the wilderness to abundance. Yet, before I could, I had to face the reality of my situation.
The reality of our bareness was difficult. I felt like I had hit a wall when it came to receiving healing and also the baptism of the Holy Spirit (as evidenced by tongues and manifestations). These were two things I had been diligently seeking after I became aware that they were available to me. In fact, my desire for these two things is what drove me into Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. I had been a Christian for 13 years, but I had never attended a Charismatic church. In sharing the rest of this story, please be informed that I am not inferring that one denomination is better than nor superior to another. I have learned that each church who is serving Christ embraces certain biblical truths and no denomination has the whole picture. I remain deeply grateful to all of the churches I’ve attended in the past. They have helped me in numerous ways including both spiritually and even financially. Sharing my experience of being in two very different denominations is for the purpose of showing how God was taking me out of my comfort zone to allow me to learn about Him from a different perspective.
The church I was mainly involved with before my charismatic church experiences didn’t encourage individuals to have personal ministries. Instead, a congregant’s main responsibility was to continue building the ministry that the founders of the denomination had started. My background taught me that we should be committed to build the ministry of the age, which is a term we give to the ministry of our founders. This is different than the beliefs of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches who teach and encourage every Christian to have their own ministry. When I first heard this preached, it was a foreign concept to me.
In my determination to know the Lord more and receive a miracle, I committed to pray every day in 2014 until the Lord healed my wife and baptized me in the Holy Spirit. Each day during my lunch break I would sit in a park and pray for these things. I continued to do this until I was overcome with devastation from the failure of our last IVF treatment. The doctor diagnosed that there would be no way for us to naturally conceive. Our only hope was to use an egg donor. As a final option, we tried this as well, but it also rendered fruitless. Looking back, my wife and I believe it was God’s intention for us to conceive naturally. We believed in miracles at the time, but we weren’t completely certain that God was going to give us a child naturally which is why we tried every other option available to us.
Although devastated, my wife and I remained steadfast in our weekly Bible studies. We had been holding Bible studies every week in Chinese with a few other families. One week we came to chapter 5 in the Gospel of Mark. Written there is a story about a man named Jairus who went to Jesus to request his presence to heal his sick daughter. Jesus agreed to go with him and heal his daughter, but on the way to his home, Jesus was stopped by a woman with a bleeding problem. This woman spoke to herself as she made her way to Jesus, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well” (Mk. 5:28 NRSV). Of course, the woman did get healed, and Jesus praised her stating that it was her faith that made her well. Reading the story this time stood out to me in a different way than before.
I raised the question to our participants: “What do you think Jairus’s reaction would have been when Jesus delayed, and this woman was healed?” Would he have said, “Come on, Jesus, my issue is more important; I came to you first because my daughter is dying and now you stop for this unclean woman!? Have some respect, people; there is a line here!” I’m sure I may have felt this way if I were him. I was once at a healing meeting in New York and I witnessed what people are capable of when they are desperate. They all tried to rush in the door of the church to secure a spot inside because the limited space would not hold the couple thousand people in attendance.
Perhaps, though, Jairus may have acted like a saint, and he may have said, “That’s fine, no problem. Her need is more important than mine. Don’t worry, everything is in God’s hands. Even if my daughter dies, she will be in heaven with God.” Or, Jairus could have reacted passively, “Whatever happens, happens. There is nothing I can do anyway. It’s not my call.” The Bible does not describe Jairus’ reaction, but I learned from a great Chinese Bible teacher, Witness Lee, that what the Bible does not say is equally as important as what it does say. I can only imagine that Jairus’s reaction was filled with emotion and panic. At the end of the story, someone from home tells Jairus to no longer ask Jesus to come to his house. Verse 36b says, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” But verse 37 records Jesus’ immediate reaction when he heard this: “But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”
What happened between the words spoken by Jairus’ friend in verse 36 and the words Jesus spoke in verse 37? Did Jesus see the agony in Jairus’s face? Or could he see that Jairus’ faith was weak? I think both may have been the case; otherwise, Jesus would not have spoken to him immediately. It’s just like Jesus to step in and speak life to someone in the midst of all the negative voices.
On this particular day of our Bible study, when I read this phrase, “Do not fear, only believe,” it was as if God had spoken it to me personally. These words penetrated my heart. It was like I was being led by the Holy Spirit into the inner emotions of Jairus. For a moment, the woman and Jairus were one. I don’t mean in a literal sense; they were still different people. But in a spiritual sense, these two characters were both a part of me. Some of the feelings Jairus may have experienced such as panic, disappointment or anger resembled some of my own. And yet, like the woman, I was approaching God by faith hoping for a miracle in my wife’s body. I was so impacted by this revelation that I started to use this phrase when I published the recordings of our Bible studies online.
As our discussion continued, I raised another question. “Why did God allow the delay in the healing of Jairus’ daughter?” We know God is sovereign and nothing can happen except by the will of the Father. We also know that the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the Bible and it is no coincidence that Mark put these passages together in one segment. I felt there must have been a purpose in the delay of the healing of his daughter.
My wife always talks about the author, Cao Xueqin, who wrote the novel Dream of the Red Chamber. It is a well-known 18th century classic Chinese novel. Many say that Cao Xueqin was writing about figures related to the Royal family, and it would have put him in danger if they knew he was referencing them. Because of this, he masterfully created several characters and put the different characteristics of one person into them. I find that the Holy Spirit is also a master when it comes to the inspiration behind the writing of the Bible.
I felt the Holy Spirit had revealed the answer to me. The purpose of the delay was obviously to heal the woman with the blood issue. But what does the issue of blood represent? It is the leaking out of life; it is a lack of faith. The leaking of our faith must be stopped first before we can be healed. Perhaps you have heard the saying that God wants to give us what we ask for, but first he will give us something we need. Before the healing of his daughter, Jairus needed to be healed from his lack of faith. This woman with the issue of the blood was a woman of faith and a blaring sign to Jairus of what he needed in order to receive his miracle. What Jairus lacked, this woman stood as an example of.
When I was praying in the park one day in the beginning of 2014, I had a conversation with God that went something like this. I said, “I will never stop bothering you, Lord. If you do not heal my wife and baptize me in your Holy Spirit, I will bug you every day until the end of my life. I will see you one day in heaven and even ask you to your face—WHY? Isaiah 28 says, ‘those who trust in the Lord will be never put to shame.’ If I were put to shame for this matter, the shame will be yours. If you don’t do these things according to your promise, then I can say you are a liar. But I know you are not a liar. I don’t understand what is going on here [in my life].” All my emotions came pouring out. I was like that infamous woman with the issue of the blood. Sometimes I was adamant, perseverant, and full of faith. But other times I could be like Jairus full of agony and pain while holding the promise of Jesus to heal his daughter.
We all have access to the promises of God concerning healing (which is stated in many verses in the Bible). However, I was experiencing the delay of its coming. My question to you, reader, is this: Are you also experiencing a delay in any promises you have been believing for? Do you see yourself in these two characters? I have certainly seen myself in them.
I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me that day, “The delay has a purpose. Do not fear, only believe.” I felt really encouraged and all of us in the Bible study also felt the same. We ended our time with each person declaring “Do not fear, only believe.” I felt the Lord was using this difficult time to perfect my faith in Him. In due time my wife would be healed.
Now, getting back to what I mentioned earlier. The concept of having my own ministry was foreign to me. It was not on my radar. I even struggled with the fact that it may be against my former church’s teaching. I wondered if it would be seen as pride or self-promotion. Despite my reservations, I still felt I should go ahead and start this ministry. I thought to myself, “What’s a good middle ground I can take?” I decided to use “Jairus” rather than my own name since it had spoken to me so much.
In January 2016, at an Elijah List conference in Oregon, God spoke two things to me. First, he confirmed to me that Jairus Bible World Ministries is from him. Second, he assured me that my wife and I would have a baby that year which we did. God’s response to Jairus, the woman, to me and to all that believe for a promise is the same: “Do not fear; only believe.” I pray this post has been a blessing to you!
Written by Sean Song
Edited by Danielle Pagnanella