MIRACLE WORKING GOD
How’s everyone doing? Hanging in there, I hope! 🤞…I’m praying that everyone is healthy, well, and knows how loved they are. For all you huggers out there that are like me and missing human contact, I’m sending a virtual hug. I know it isn’t the same, believe me…I K-N-O-W. But at least know you are thought of and prayed for. I can’t wait to hug everyone again in celebration when this quarantine is over.
Today is the 5th Sunday of Lent. Before reading the rest of this post please take a moment to listen to this song. It is such a good song to help reflect on the Gospel passage today of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.
This Gospel is so timely. I found so much comfort in John 11:35, “And Jesus wept.” My aunt taught me a long time ago in order to put a verse of the Bible in context we needed to also read a few verses before and after. So, digging deep into the recesses of my brain to that conversation I had with her many years ago, I re-read the few verses before this one. John 11:33-34, “When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
On the border of the page of this passage in my Bible I have written, “When we are in a place of pain and doubt, Jesus understands. He weeps with us. His friend’s tears of grief were on His face revealing His deep love for them. My tears are on His face too.” I’m pretty sure I read this quote from a study I did on this Gospel several years ago and was touched by it then just as I am now, especially in this current situation our world is finding itself in. This week has been long, exhausting, and emotional. I have been struggling, but I know I’m not alone in that.
I laughed this weekend because I found notes that I took from a workshop I had to attend during new employee orientation at the hospital I currently work for and I thought it was a fitting weekend to find it. The workshop was on developing resilience. Check out my notes in the picture….
Resilient: able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
I want to fall into the resilient column, I really, really do. But that’s not reality. Right now, I’m pretty non-resilient. I have been struggling with this over the weekend because I feel like I SHOULD feel a certain way currently, but I just don’t. I feel like I should be positive and encouraging and strong and grateful, yet, I’m struggling with so many different emotions. This coronavirus really threw me for a loop. It came out of nowhere and in a matter of days completely changed the way all of our lives looked. I have been angry, disappointed, confused, sad, lonely, anxious, frustrated, and annoyed. I have also struggled with coming face to face with my own selfishness and then shame and guilt because of it. These are my real feelings. It hasn’t been pretty. But I’ve recognized the need to address them because they are real. I may feel like I’m not coping well, but I’m coping. It may not be how I feel like I SHOULD be coping or how I WISH I were coping, but I’m STILL coping. I’m still adapting and adjusting and continuing to move forward. According to my notes, the definition of adaptability is “willing to try.” I can still say, as non-resilient as I currently feel, I am still adapting….I’m still willing to try. I trust Jesus, but I’m struggling to trust Jesus. I don’t understand. I’m just a little child who keeps asking her father, “why?,” in hopes He will be able to give her a good answer.
Well, with the Gospel today, He kind of did. It is exactly why I found so much comfort in John 11:35 today, “And Jesus wept.” Sometimes it’s really easy to forget that Jesus was human. He was fully God and fully human. He felt all the emotions we do. Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.” He understands. He felt the same way I feel. He knows what a heartache feels like. He knows how it felt to be separated from loved ones. He knows how it feels to see and experience the pain and suffering of loved ones. He felt the longing to be reunited with one He loved. He knows. He lived it. He experienced it….and He wept.
Jesus cried. Jesus cried because of the pain he felt in His own heart, but He also cried because it pained Him that those He loved were in pain. The same holds true today. Jesus still weeps. Jesus is weeping because He sees my heart hurting. Jesus knew that day when He raised Lazarus from the dead that on March 29, 2020 we would be reading about what took place. He knew when he wept that He was weeping for the suffering of Mary and Martha, but He was also weeping for the suffering we are all enduring due to the coronavirus. On that day, He knew we would read about it on THIS day and He wanted us to know that He is still weeping. He sees our hurting hearts and is perturbed. He says in the Gospel, “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” I have to believe that although I do not understand this, there is a reason. Mary and Martha did not understand why Jesus did not arrive there sooner to prevent Lazarus from dying. They didn’t understand until an even bigger miracle took place. Instead of curing him from an illness, Jesus brought him back to life. He raised him from the dead. I don’t understand why everything is happening the way it is because of the coronavirus and why it seems that Jesus is waiting to arrive to do something about it. I don’t understand now, but I have to trust that an even bigger miracle is going to take place in our lives just like for Mary and Martha. I have to trust that Jesus will call us out of this “tomb” and we will be raised from the dead to new life. We are being transformed through this process. When this is all over, our hearts will be full of new life, new joy, new hope, new love, new appreciation, new compassion, new strength, and new perspective. Our God is a miracle working God. I can’t forget that.
So, don’t stop believing. If God brings you to it, He will see you through it. We have two weeks left until Easter Sunday; Two weeks left to prepare our hearts for when Jesus Christ, himself will be raised from the dead. He is a miracle working God. I will repeat that again. HE IS A MIRACLE WORKING GOD. As we go forth this week, let’s pray together in thanksgiving for that miracle that I know God is going to work through this and let’s continue to pray for one another.