I would love to say that I was following a call to visit CrossPointe on the first Sunday on 2013. In all honesty, I received a call from Holly to go to the movies with her, so I decided to make a church visit to one of the PCA churches that I drive by on the way to All Saints: CrossPointe Presbyterian.
The sermon I ended up learning from (because I *still* think I am a bit more clever that our Lord) was on the death of Lazarus. I was reminded that God is sovereign, He allows bad things to happen because “it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4)
This was needed a bit more that usual. The span between Sept and Jan has been marked with loss (past and present) and I am grieving pretty hard about it.
I spend a lot of time with “what if…”and “why didn’t I…” and “why didn’t he/she/they…” and “why would he/she/they…”
I spend a lot of wanting my old life back. I spend a bit more time knowing that I can’t go back. And I have been spending a lot of time lost.
I fight against putting faith in God because it will result in an outcome that I did not choose, a path that I cannot control. And right now I don’t want anything I can’t control.
This sermon and the passage highlights Mary and Martha during this time. They waited for Christ for 4 days as they watched Lazarus get sick, fail in health, and die. They knew that Christ didn’t need to be there to heal him. They knew that He was not all that far away and CHOSE to wait another two days before getting up and going to them, allowing Lazarus to die.
Many people (including more than one person that I tried to talk to about this) want to glaze over these points. But doing that in my view is missing the glorious, beautiful point of the passage.
Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”
It’s the humanity of this passage. Martha and Mary suffered. And when Jesus finally saw fit to show up, they let Him know it. They let Him know about their pain and their disappointment in the outcome.
But they still believed.
They still had faith.
And Jesus performed a powerful miracle. When He was ready.
To us it will seem that God should do this or that when we think He should. And with our narrow view set our hearts on the so-called “right course of action” and the “right time”.
But to One with a larger view it is the right time with the right lesson.
I just have to hold on a little longer.