Monday, November 19, 2012

Healing, Death or New Life...

"Now a man named Lazarus was sick.  He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.  So the sisters sent word to Jesus, 'Lord, the one you love is sick.'

When he heard this, Jesus said, 'This sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it.' Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days...

After he had said this, he went on to tell them, 'Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.'

His disciples replied, 'Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.' Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
So then he told them plainly, 'Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.  But let us go to him.'...
~John 11:1-6, 11-15

When I read this, I can feel the agony of the sisters as they asked Jesus to come and heal their brother...and yet, he didn't come right away.  He waited.  TWO days.  He waited.  Why would their Lord wait two days?

The abandonment Mary and Martha must have felt.  Questions probably rose up.  But instead of becoming angry, they trusted.  They choose what was harder than anything fight against the anger and bitterness and to instead, trust. 

"'Lord,' Martha said to Jesus, 'if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.'"
John 11:22

Here they are...their brother is dead, and their Savior delayed in coming.  But God's bigger picture is at work...things that cannot be seen in the midst of the pain.

"'Take away the stone,' he said. 'But, Lord,' said Martha, the sister of the dead man, 'by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.'"
John 11:39

Instead of healing Lazarus from an illness, Jesus goes into the tomb - into the stink of it all and raises Lazarus from the dead.

Healing vs. death.

Which one would bring Him more glory and proclaim His Sovereignty? 

And how many times does He do that for me?  When all seems dead around me, when all I see is the pain from unfulfilled longings, He is at work behind the scenes.  In the stinky part of my inmost being - the sin, the anger, hurt, confusion...He's right there in the midst of it, preparing for His glory to be known through my life.

It's when He is in the midst of it all, that He moves and works.  He can either change my direction, heal the hurt, or resurrect what I once thought was dead.

"'Yes, Lord,' she told him, 'I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.'"
John 11:27

But no matter the outcome, He is asking that I simply trust Him.  To believe that He is the Christ, the Son of God.
Keeping my eyes and my focus upon Him, provides ripe opportunity for God to move with ease in my life and heart.

"My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways." 
 Proverbs 23:26

And before long, He will say to me...

"Take off the grave clothes and let him go"
John 11:44

And that is when I can go freely in the way He has prepared for me...whether it be healing, resurrected dreams, or a new life altogether...

Leave outcomes up to Me. Follow Me wherever I lead, without worrying about how it will all turn out. Think of your life as an adventure, with Me as your Guide and Companion. Live in the now, concentrating on staying in step with Me. When our path leads to a cliff, be willing to climb it with My help. When we come to a resting place, take time to be refreshed in My Presence. Enjoy the rhythm of life lived close to Me. You already know the ultimate destination of your journey: your entrance into heaven. so keep your focus on the path just before you, leaving outcomes up to Me.
~Jesus Calling