Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Evening Devotion 4/28/10

The Raising of Lazarus, Juan de Flandes, 1510

“Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’”
John 11:40

The life drained from Lazarus, there was nothing left for Mary and Martha to do but mourn for him with a pain that was so palpable. He was still young, with so much time still before him, or so they had thought. But now... now he laid there lifeless with no more days before him, with no more time ahead of him and all the great and big things he had intended to do with his life no longer even a prospect for his future.

Neither one of his sisters could understand. They knew that Jesus loved Lazarus, they knew that He cared so dearly and deeply for their brother, it’s why it was so difficult for them to comprehend. After all, they had come to Him and told Him that he ill and that he would die. Yet Jesus didn’t come rushing to him. By the time He finally did come to Lazarus, it had been four days since the life had left his body. There was no chance for healing, there was no chance to chase the sickness from the body, they knew there was nothing left to be done.

How could He have let this happen? Why would He let this happen? Why would He let this man whom He loved be ravaged by disease and death and not come rushing to him? It defied all that they thought they had known about the Christ.

Yet, for the pain that they felt, for as much as they must have felt that Jesus had let them down and let this befall them, having had the power to heal their brother, He would have an answer unto them....

“Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

He would raise Lazarus from the dead, life returning to his broken form, the hope and the prospects for the future returned to his life.

In a world where there is so much hurt and sorrow, so much sin and iniquity, pain and suffering, we may not always understand what it is that God has planned, we may not always comprehend why it is that He lets certain things happen in this world despite the promises that He has made unto us. Nor does God even expect us to understand it all as it transcends our knowledge and our understanding. Joseph, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Apostles and the Disciples in the early Church perhaps didn’t always understand what it was that God had intended or why it was that events played out in the way that they did.

All we have to do is believe...

When knowledge and wisdom, enlightenment and understand leave us, we have to believe that God has a plan in all of this and that, though evil occurs despite Him, because of Him healing will come and our faith shall never be let down. Yes, there may be sorrow or hurt for a short time, but through His compassion and mercy that shall all be set to flight as His grace is shown to be sufficient unto us as He makes us strong where we once were weak, as He heals us where we once were broken, as He sets us free where we once were held in the most bitter of captivities.

There will come a time and a place when we see the glory of God as we stand before His throne and the answers will come to us, but until then, until that day and that time, we must see this world for what it is, placing our hope in God even when it defies reason and know that He moves through the course of human events, through the course of life to make miracles happen according to the promises that He has made unto His children in the love that He has for them.

Let us pray:

We lift our eyes on high to behold the mercy of Your grace O Lord...

We set our sights on high that Your love may encompass our lives in the assurances of Your blessings O Lord...

From You does all help come, from You all strength is made manifest amidst this temporal existence as hope is brought into the lives of Your creation.

Let then Your truth abide in the lives of Your people, let Your Spirit be cast upon the hearts of Your children that Your peace shall be restored and they shall be given rest in the green pastures of Your abiding, transcending love for them. Unto all who suffer, all who find themselves amidst the pain and the sorrow of captivity and bondage, slavery and oppression, poverty and destitution, sickness and disease, be the ever present help amidst their lives that they may have the endurance in all they face and the strength to persevere in all of it.

We may not understand why so much hurt comes amidst this world, we may not comprehend why it is that so many suffer. Yet, what we do know is that we come to You in the sacred faith of Your blessed Word and Your holy promises You shall be vigilant, drawing Your children close to You and restoring unto them the life that had been robbed from them by the sin and iniquity of this world.

For this do we pray, humbling ourselves before Your throne, that You may keep Your people from harm and heal their wounds, amidst the love and the compassion that You have for them and in Your time You shall set them free, setting to flight all bondage and breaking all chains that would so burden and break them.

Then shall we rest in comfort, even as we do not understand, as we rejoice in Your promises and rest in Your faithfulness.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

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