I bet you never knew I was dead. Cold to the touch. My heart stopped beating. They wrapped me in grave clothes and prepared for life without me. But then I came back. It was a miracle. There were witnesses and still some people don’t believe in the one who warmed my blood and breathed my soul back into this body. What say you?
I imagine that’s how Lazarus told and retold his story. Strangely, my faith story is similar. Jesus is still in the business of restoring lives.
In John chapter 11 we learn Jesus brought a friend, dead and rotting for four days, back to life in front of many Jews. But before He did it, Jesus made them wait.
“But when Jesus heard (Lazarus was sick) He said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”
Isn’t that fascinating.
Mary and Martha were freaking out that their brother was going to die and Jesus was calm knowing that He had the power to even change a death sentence. He could’ve healed Lazarus in an instant, Mary and Martha would’ve had their brother back. But they would’ve missed seeing the power and glory of God. Instead, Jesus strengthened faith of generations through their story proving the impossible is possible for those who believe in Him.
It seems backwards, that the verse says Jesus loved them so He did nothing about their pain right away. But in His perfect timing, when the people couldn’t solve the problem on their own, He breathed life back into a hopeless situation. Sounding familiar? It does for me.
I wasn’t physically dead, but emotionally done.
I’ve given up and gone through the motions when it all seemed too much. I wondered where God was and why He wasn’t fixing things right then. But looking back, the pain I endured had purpose. He allowed me to go through the darkness so I could search for His light. So I would trade the world for His abundant life.
He allowed me to go through the darkness so I could search for His light. So I would trade the world for His abundant life.
Every Christian is Lazarus. God raised us from spiritually dead. When we surrendered and believed in Jesus and that the Holy Spirit lives and breathes within us, we came back to life– a new life.
God can raise us from negative to positive, despair to joy, hopeless to faithful, broken to empowered, victim to conqueror, and sinner to beloved child of God.
So as we end this month of reflecting on ABIDING in God, remember that we’re not the answer to our struggles–Jesus is. Our hope is not in our striving, but trusting our God is loving, sovereign, and with us.
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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him.Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.