Jesus Speaks Life Into The Dead Places

Jesus Speaks Life Into The Dead Places

Jesus Speaks Life Into The Dead Places

Have you ever been unexpectedly caught out in a storm? I will never forget going on a long walk to drop off a letter while I was living in England. When I started the walk, it was sunny without a cloud in the sky. Half way through, the dark clouds rolled in, and it started pouring. I was quickly drenched and had to run home in the rain. Sometimes the troubles in life hit us like that unexpected storm. We’re living our lives, raising our kids, planning for the future, and then “pow!” The storm hits. We lose our jobs. We run into money challenges. A family member gets sick. Or sometimes we even come face to face with death through the loss of a loved one. When these times come, we may ask ourselves “Where is God?” In John 11, we meet a family walking through their own storm and discover a few massively important truths about God through their experiences with Jesus.

John 11 begins with an introduction to Lazarus, a close friend of Jesus, who was very ill and on the verge of death (11:1). Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters, sent a message to Jesus asking for His help (vs.2-3). Martha and Mary did something profound with their concerns. In the midst of their storm, they brought their pain, fears, and hopes for the future to Jesus.

They knew that Jesus cared for them and would want to help in their time of need. When Lazarus didn’t recover before Jesus arrived, they even brought their disappointments to Jesus (vs,21-22, 32). When we walk through our storms, and things don’t turn out as we had hoped, God invites us to bring all of our doubts and our disappointments to Him. He would rather that we be honest, bringing our whole selves to Him, disappointments and all, than to turn away from Him during our times of need.

When we do this, we begin to see that Jesus has purposes that go beyond our pain. Jesus had a plan for Lazarus (vs.4), that came from a place of love for this family (vs.5), even though it moved at a different speed than Martha and Mary had hoped (vs.6-7). It’s a great reminder that God’s love is always the bridge that connects His purposes for us and His providential timing in our lives. Jesus also showed His love and compassion for Mary and Martha when He entered their pain and wept with them (vs.33,35). What a beautiful depiction of how God feels when we suffer. We aren’t alone in our suffering. We are aided and supported by the God who created all things and keeps track of every tear in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). In times of hardship, we may not understand what God is doing, or even His timing in deliverance, but we can always trust that He is working from a place of love and to display His glory in our lives.

woman wearing blue top while standing on plain field

Jesus alone speaks life into dead places.

This is the one remaining truth that we've uncovered in this story that encourages us in our present trials and speaks to our future hope. 

After weeping with Mary and Martha, when all hope seemed lost, Jesus stepped in and did the impossible. In just a few words, Jesus revealed His deity, displayed His glory, and spoke Lazarus back to life (vs.38-45). Jesus is the “resurrection and the life” (vs.25) and He is able to breathe life into any situation. No matter how dire things look, Jesus can transform difficult scenarios and do the impossible with them.

Whatever impossible situations you are faced with today, I encourage you to bring your pain to Jesus. Share your struggles with faith and of loss. Open your heart to His care and remind yourself that He is with you in the midst of your pain.

We might not understand the delay in His timing, but Jesus can always breathe life into the areas we give to him.

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