This morning I am sitting outside, enjoying the cool breeze, reading the Word and pondering my day. I read in John this morning, the account of Lazarus being summoned from the grave. I have read and heard this story so many times. It is one that is reproduced in children's story book form, movies, even in song. "Lazarus, Come Forth!" rings in my ears as I even mention the account of what happened that day.
Today...a couple different things caught my attention.
"Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it,that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done." (Joh 11:39-46)
You see, Jesus was among friends. This is Mary and Martha...and Lazarus! These are not acquaintances who hadn't seen and heard all that the Lord had done, but when it came to seeing the miracle for themselves...doubt came in. Jesus is about to raise Lazarus from the dead and Martha, says...BUT Lord...he stinketh!
This morning, it reminded me of how I am sometimes. The Lord is standing at the precipice and asking me to remove the stone, as an act of faith, so He can show His Glory in my Life and I say...."BUT Lord...he stinketh!", "But Lord, I don't know if I can do that!", "But Lord, do you REALLY know what might happen?","BUT Lord...." and fill in the blank. It's our flesh, crying out so loudly that we forget WHO HE IS! Don't you think Jesus knew that in the 4 days it took to get to the grave, Lazarus would begin to stink? If Jesus is powerful enough to raise a man from the dead...don't you think he would remove ALL the death from him, and not even leave the stinch of death to linger?
The sweet Savior reassures Martha and in authority cries out to his friend, "Lazarus, come forth!" and out walks Lazarus. I am smiling, because I don't think Lazarus even thought for a moment..."But Lord, I stink!" HeeHee!
The next couple of verses also pierced my heart today. The responses from the onlookers. Many believed on Jesus...from that moment on, they knew who He was, and trusted in Him...BUT many went on their way, running to the Pharisees to tell of Jesus' works. This was not a good thing! They were telling what had happened out of fear that the Jews would believe on Him...and that was something, in the eyes of the priests, that could not happen!
What do we do when we see the miraculous in our lives? To we praise the Lord and lift High is name, deepening our Faith and Trust in Him, as well as those around us...or do we give praise to "mother-nature", doctors, circumstance or even "Luck"? Do we use the miracle of healing to only lift up medicine and not the Great Physician who give knowledge so we have the medicine? Do we give testimony to the rain for growth and forsake the hand that moves the clouds? Do we say look at what so-and-so did...instead of praising our Lord that gave the strength and wisdom? This is our modern day "running to the Pharisees". When we lift high ANYTHING but the name of Jesus...we are in essence, denying the origin of the miracle, and denying who Jesus actually is.
I want to be the one who does NOT hesitate standing on the precipice of a miracle...and then to Proclaim in a LOUD voice..."LOOK WHAT MY LORD HAS DONE!"
Just a side note:
Last night, as a family, we watched a great documentary about the scientific evidence for Creation. I was filled with great videography of all kinds of life...microscopic and seemingly infinite. We have seen many films that give testimony to the Creator for His Mighty works, and this was another good one. Still, my favorites are from Dc. Jobe Martin's, Increadible Creatures that Defy Evolution series.