“Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?'”-John 11:40–check this quote out in-context.
Just a few thoughts:
They knew Jesus had the power to save lives, but to raise the dead? Jesus didn’t do what they expected, He did MORE. I don’t think Lazarus being raised from the dead, from the tomb, even entered their thoughts. I know that I have relatives who have passed that I would never even think of asking God to raise from the dead–simple expectation that they will be raised up when Christ returns. I look to that day with expectation of a) CHRIST, and b) loved ones who have died. In all honesty, if I was told that Jesus had raised my dad from the dead after two years and just over a month, I might go on the longest sprinting and screaming spree of my life. (For the record, note that He has to tell them to unwrap Lazarus from his graveclothes. Does anyone else find this kind of humorous imagery? The fact that He had to tell them to means they probably weren’t making any moves to, whether it be from sheer shock that Lazarus had just come walking out, not wanting to get near a formerly dead man (I believe this would have made them ceremonially unclean to touch something that was dead), or some other reason. And Lazarus! You come walking out of the grave completely entombed and wrapped in cloth—cannot see, probably cannot breathe, and who knows if he even knew what had happened. Imagery helps me put myself in the position of the people or characters I’m reading about in literature) It is one thing to have the hope of Christ for eternity, but the hope of Christ for right now? This moment? Your circumstances?
He went above all that they could have asked or thought.
Our God, who is able to raise the dead, and save souls, can completely redeem your life from the pit of death. We see it time and time again in scripture, as well as in lives around us.
For the past two months I have been slowly entering a state of depression and despair. I moved to Virginia and felt completely alone with a job that had fallen through in a way I never imagined. This dream I thought I was moving to fulfill was suddenly a nightmare. To make matters worse, I was applying everywhere I could think of for employment with nothing coming through. I didn’t go out anywhere, even to church. I literally was staying at home almost all day, except for the occasional interview that forced me to leave the house. I even watched all of Rand Paul’s Sequester on C-Span. It was fascinating, but should tell you the extent of my life’s excitement. I had been spending a lot of time in prayer, pleading with God for direction and asking Him to change circumstances, but as I was told on a bike ride with one of the local cyclists, “you can’t steer a parked car.”
So, I began to not only plead with God for direction, but the motivation to get up, get out, and actively seek what He had planned for me. I knew I needed employment and community. I began praying about this on a Saturday night, and Sunday morning got my tush out of bed (albeit, late) and to attend the church’s Young Professionals group. I parked about a quarter of a mile away, not realizing that they meet in a completely separate building, and ended up running across a road and a big parking lot in heels to get there on time and because I was cold. Embarrassing in hindsight. Story of my life. I walked in and really only conversed with one person that morning, but was invited out for bowling. Score. Two social events in one day. I went, found myself on a team with all guys (again the story of my life), and had fun!
Oh hey, social skills! Had to revisit that long-term memory.
The next week I went I ended up being introduced to a guy who is also a former college athlete (that was why we were introduced) who is from the same area of NY as I am. We have mutual acquaintances—that was not something I expected, but it was refreshing. Meeting someone who played in your high school athletics conference and plays in a softball tournament in your ex-back yard doesn’t happen every day when you’re 400+ miles from home.
I’ve been attending twice weekly Bible Studies with the group and have been GREATLY encouraged by his life. He seemed so unaffected by the changes in his life because His confidence was in a sovereign, immutable God. That is my desire for my faith in Christ—to walk through life with Him trusting Him in every circumstance.
I had been avoiding asking for prayer about the work situation because I was proud—I’m new and moved here for a job that fell through. I have felt foolish to no end, and to make that public was a hit to the pride. During a bathroom run at one of them, my need for employment came up and was lifted up in prayer. Hearing the request as I walked back from the bathroom was a like a hit to the stomach, but it was necessary. Step one to living life as God intended is faith in Him. Step two to living life as God intended it is community—not just surface-level, but involved in each others’ lives. That being said, I think God was waiting for it to go public so He would be glorified. Romans 11:36 says “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” May it ever be so in my life!
This week I’ve had two interviews that have resulted in employment offers and I have one more interview next week.
Prayer is appreciated through this time—I’ll keep you guys updated as things are finalized! This is a huge redemption in my life. My body hasn’t been raised from the dead, but Jesus certainly has given life to my spirit/inner man!
He is not only the savior of my soul, but the savior of my life.
Jesus had different plans for me here, but He had to get me here first. I have been created for His plans—to fulfill them—not my own.
To God alone be the glory! HE IS ABLE! (Shoutout to Believer’s Chapel in NY–keep rockin’ the region by the Spirit of God and letting Him live through you!)
Game on! 🙂
(I’ll edit this later–off to play at the Y and game night!)