On Sunday, we went to CRC. It was a great sermon about the claims of Jesus. I was taking a lot of great notes, until we got to point five. The scripture reference was John 11, the death and resurrection of Lazarus.
Now, I've heard this story. I know what happens and after my dad died, I took great comfort in this passage. Not because I expected my dad to raise from the dead, but because of the conversation between Jesus and Martha. I was surprised to be so aware of this passage as the pastor read the words..."On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days." (v. 17) Jesus was very aware that Lazarus had been dead for four days. But it was what the pastor said next that got me: Jesus COULD have showed up and saved Lazarus from death. He didn't HAVE to wait. But he did. I chewed on this for a while and quickly wrote everything that came to my mind.
So, here I sit, still thinking about this passage and what the Lord revealed to me. God COULD rescue me right now. He COULD make my life easier and take away my depression. God COULD intervene right now and change all that I'm feeling. However, like Lazarus, God will be most glorified in my death - to myself. Perhaps all this pain, all of these trials, it's all a process making less of me and more of Him. Maybe, just maybe, if I listen and be still and trust in Him, I will learn how to die to myself.
Dying to myself wasn't something I considered to be necessary for God to come to my rescue. Maybe it's not, but won't it make the rescuing so much sweeter? Won't my desperate heart find His safe arms more secure after feeling the loneliness and darkness of the valley? Won't my weary heart find incredible refreshment in the holiness of God more so when I've been in the pits of sin? I believe so.
And what's more beautiful than God reaching down in His grace and mercy and bringing a dead heart to life? Not much, my friends, not much at all.