3.21.2012

It's Not Dead (it just looks like it)

God spoke to me this morning.
The circumstances surrounding me halted my prayers.
I could not pray. 
I have been feeling an indescribable hurt that suspended my ability to verbally communicate with my Father. BUT, my Father hears my tears; He hears the issues of my heart. He knows. Without me saying a word, He knows. He already knew. Because He already knew He has actually prepared me for this ugly thing. He has prepared me to overcome so that His glory is exemplified in a mighty way. 

This is how He spoke.

John 11 | Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.4 When Jesus heard that, he said,This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
Jesus loves Lazarus. This is established at the beginning of the chapter because it is of the utmost importance. Everything that follows is the result of Jesus' love. 
Jesus loves me. Therefore, I know that what He has done for Lazarus, He can do for me, too.
Jesus' words are paramount. The ugliness that I am facing is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified by it.

5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judæa again.
Because of its importance, it is mentioned again that Jesus loves Lazarus, and his sisters. It precedes us seeing that Jesus stayed where he was for two days after hearing his friend was sick. Why would He do that? If He loved him, why wouldn't He come immediately? 
This ugliness that has been brought to me is the result of a "sickness". Why didn't Jesus do something when He saw the sickness? I know He loves me so why wasn't the sickness addressed? Healed? Let's keep reading.


8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
Jesus is not deterred by the possibility of being stoned and His answer to the disciples is a great jewel for us. First, don't be deceived into thinking that anything can keep Jesus from you. He is greater than any circumstance; the wind and the waves listen to Him! Jesus is perfection and His timing is impeccable. He said He would never leave you, nor forsake you and He meant that. Second, Jesus is the light. If we walk with Him constantly, we will not stumble. When we don't read the Word, neglect to spend time with our Father and disobey His commands, our world gets dark. Sight is hindered. The stumble will come. 


11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
There is a difference between death and sleep. We are instructed to die to ourselves so that Christ lives in us. We are commanded to put to death worldly ways like fornication, evil desires and idolatry. Through death, through dying, these things are meant to be permanently eliminated - never to come alive again. Sleep on the other hand is temporary. It calls for a "wake up" experience. The bible talks about the dead in Christ as "sleep" because temporarily they are not functioning, but at that glorious day they will arise and live eternally with Christ.
And so Lazarus is sleep. He was sick and now he's sleep. To say it plainly, like Jesus did, he was sick and now he's dead. Now we see the reason why Jesus didn't come to Lazarus immediately. By not healing the sickness, Jesus will instead do something even greater so that we may believe. 
There was a sickness that brought on the ugliness I keep referring to. The ugliness is a death of sorts. I wondered why God allowed the sickness to bring on such ugliness. The answer is so that we may believe. God is going to do an amazing, miraculous, and majestic work through this ugliness so that YOU may believe. 
I would not wish this ugliness on my worse enemy. No one should have to go through what I am experiencing right now. I am sustained by God's Word that says All Things Work Together For Good To Those Who Love God, To Those Who Are Called According To HIS Purpose. 


16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
This was interesting to me. When I woke up this morning, I was reminded that in three days, my Savior rose. Today can be considered the third day for me as it relates to this ugliness. I told myself that it's time to rise. I have to tell myself that or else I will wallow in this ugliness and that is not God's intention for me. Getting back to the interesting part, we see here that Lazarus was in the grave four days. Wow. God is so patient with us and so in tune to us as human beings. Jesus, who is fully God fully man, rose in three days. While my aim is to mimic Christ in all things, my Dad in heaven is so full of grace that he gave me an extra day! *Sigh* I'll take it. The bottom line remains - if it looks dead, but is in fact sleeping, it must rise. 

There is more, but this post is getting lengthy. I'll continue in a separate post on another day. I pray this touches someone, anyone - and if it's only one, that's enough. God loves you. Nothing can separate us from His love. The greatest hurt that you have ever felt can be comforted by Jesus, the Prince of Peace. I'm talking about hurt that makes you cry uncontrollably, makes you feel like vomiting, removes your appetite and even keeps you from speaking to God. You may have to take three days, or four, or whatever it takes, but allow Him to comfort you like no human being can and begin to rise.