THE REST OF THE STORY
READ: Matthew 9: 19-26
“For the son of mine was dead and is alive again: he was lost and is found. So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:24 (NIV)
Replays of the late Paul Harvey’s radiobroadcasts of “The Rest of the Story” are still quite popular in our area. As a Bible teacher at our church, I attempt to utilize his “interest grabber” line to provide a thought provoking exercise by asking the group after reading the scriptural selection, “What do you think happened next?” I had used this technique with the woman who touched the hem of His garment and my next topic was to be on the miracle of Jesus raising the daughter of the Jewish official.
Although we really do not know what became of the girl who was saved from death by our Lord, I hoped the group’s imaginations would portray her gratefully and faithfully serving the Lord throughout her life. Maybe she would have even been inspired to attend to the needs of the ill or the dying. In any case, surely a miracle such as she experienced would inspire a life of devotion and dedication. As I outlined my notes in preparation for the session on Jairus’ daughter, I found tears welling up in my eyes. I realized suddenly that the miracle that had occurred 2000 years ago had been repeated with our daughter, who for over fifteen years had been addicted to drugs. She had been lost to us as she lived on the streets or incarcerated. Our original plans and dreams for her seemed never to be fulfilled and continuing prayers for her recovery seemed to fall on deaf ears.
Suddenly and yet slowly, a miracle occurred. Our daughter finally was able to overcome her addiction and reunited the rest of our family! She had truly been “raised from the dead”. How does her life compare with that I had imagined for the girl who had been revived through Jesus’ miracle? Our daughter has regained a relationship with her son, has married and now is a grandmother of two lovely grandchildren. Further, this daughter who was gone for so long now telephones us almost every day!! I believe she is a testimony that God offers to each one of us that the miracle of a new life is possible if those who care about a lost or wandering soul continue to intercede in his/her behalf with their prayers. We rejoice in personally have experienced learning the “rest of the story”.