Friday, April 10, 2020

The Miracle at Dawn

Friday, April 10,2020
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 1125-26

The Miracle at Dawn
In Johns gospel, chapter 11, we see the narrative of Lazarus, his two sisters, Mary and Martha, and their interaction with their friend Jesus. Lazarus became very ill. The sisters sent word to Jesus to come, that Lazarus was dying, and he did die. But Jesus delayed in going immediately stating, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4) In verses (23-26), Jesus said to Martha, “Your brother will rise again.”  Jesus’ powerful acknowledgement, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?”   This is Easter’s, Bottom Line Question, “DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?” It is a personal, pointed and precise question to us today as well in whatever circumstances we find ourselves to in.

Broken Dreams and New Beginnings
Easter is about Broken Dreams and New Beginnings! Have you ever had a Lazarus experience? One which your dreams are shattered, your hopes dashed, your future seems bleak or non-existent. These kinds of experiences tend to have three distinct phases: DUSK; DARKNESS; and DAWN. These were Jesus’ friends. He had stayed with them, took meals with them and encouraged them. With the news of Lazarus death, “Jesus wept!”

DUSK – For Mary and Martha, the sun was setting on their plans and hopes. Lazarus was sick, and he was the bread winner, the man of the household. A woman then, looked to a father, a husband or a brother for whatever their needs were as the only means of provision. Many are seeing this now in the midst of the current pandemic. In recent weeks I’ve spoken to several who lost jobs, like so many others. The past two weeks, I’ve counseled with families that are falling apart and others who are dealing with major health issues, self-confidence issues and others who have terminal illnesses. They are squinting to try to see what’s lies ahead for them, in the DUSK of their circumstances. We can focus on the present situation and lose the ability to see any possibility for a New Beginning. 

In times like these:

·      Don’t live in denial - face the foe. Denial is debilitating and restricts any future vision.

·      Don’t get impatient, wait on God! It is in these times that God teaches us that He wants to resurrect a deeper abiding faith in Himself, “Let patients have her perfect work.”

·      Don’t Panic - God’s in control and don’t jump to conclusions. God’s delays are not denials.

DARKNESS - Lazarus dies! There are no more dreams of what would be, what could be, they are all gone. As a Pastor, I’ve been with those whose families had to make those hard life changing decisions.  I’ve been with a family whose 19-year-old son was on life support as they made the decision to allow the harvesting of major organs because he was brain dead and could not live. I’ve been with families whose husband and father were sent to prison.

In the DARKNESS there are some don’ts you must consider:

  • Don’t hold back the tears, they have a language all their own.
  • Don’t go it alone.
  • Don’t dwell on what might have been or recite that big little word, “if.”
  • Don’t forget in the darkness what God has shown you in the light. Remember what you know.
  • Don’t blame God! Jesus said, “Come to me all you who have heavy hearts, I’ll give you rest.”

DAWN - Oh, the miracle that happened at Lazarus’ tomb, His resurrection! The same Jesus who spoke life into Lazarus is with you, right where you are today. The DAWN brings light, life and liberty. It brought a new beginning to Mary, Martha and Lazarus. JESUS’ RESURRECTION, can and will bring a new beginning to your circumstances too. The dawn brings life, but it takes the miracle of our faith and trusting Jesus. Jesus called for Lazarus to “come forth,” then he said, “Loose him,” literally, take the grave clothes off. Jesus gave them a NEW BEGINNING! He can do the same for you!

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