Verse: John 11: 4-7
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

Series: “Things Jesus Said” from the book of John.

Upon reading this scripture, the lyrics of “Rise Up (Lazarus),” popped into my mind by the family band, CAIN. The words leave me with the feeling that no matter what occurs, we have the chance and the choice to stand up again (and again). The power of God is ever-present in the foreshadowing of verse 4: “…will not end in death.” Turmoil, strife, storms, and setbacks will occur. Freedom from pain isn’t promised.

Why is God glorified as a result of our struggles? At face value, this is rather, dare I say, messed up. As usual, there’s a much deeper meaning. Have you ever heard the expressions about the journey versus the destination or the process over the outcome? It’s not always about where we are going, but how we get there. Truly trusting requires patience, demonstrating the faith necessary to prevail can be strengthening, the quiet or tearful times with God are moving, and the digging into His word fortifies us for future encounters.

Why didn’t Jesus heal Lazarus prior to his death? The lesson was much more involved. Jesus took great risk by returning to Judea, yet He did because He was in the pursuit of offering restoration. Later in the same chapter we are informed, “Jesus wept” (verse 35) with the family of Lazarus. Jesus promises to give us peace and comfort. If we ask, He will sit with us when we weep; He will listen when we don’t even have the words to say.

The ultimate miracle is found later in the chapter, but this set of verses is more about the process by which we grieve, by which we brush off the dirt, lean on a friend, request prayer, fall on our knees, weep with Jesus and STAND (again).

Dear Jesus, I ask that when we face disruption and sadness, we look to you as a source of comfort. Instead of wishing away our problems, may we ask you to reveal the learning you have for us. Timelines are important to us, but your timing is perfect. May we grow in our ability to rely on you and see ways to comfort others in the storms of life.

Author: Megan Ahern