“Carol, Come Forth!”
We’ve been working hard on several major projects the past two months. At the end of one day my shoulders ached, my head spun, and I wanted to run away from my responsibilities.
“I’ll never get this all done. I’m spinning from one project to the next and trying to keep them all going is driving me crazy!”
Do you ever feel like there are so many tasks you need to accomplish that you will never achieve them at all, let alone complete them well? I’ve kind of been there recently.
Pastor Mark recently reminded us that, in the New Testament, Jesus never hurried. But what do we do when we’ve prayed and God doesn’t show up “in the nick of time”? When His friend was ill, Jesus received a message from Lazarus’ sisters asking him to come. They knew He could heal their brother. But He deliberately waited two more days before leaving Jerusalem. By the time He reached Bethany, Lazarus was dead and buried.
“Had you been here, Lord, my brother would not have died,” was the sisters’ cry. “You didn’t come in time. Why did you wait?”
Jesus’ response was “If you believe, you will see …” When we wait, we have a choice. We can choose to continue trusting, or we can despair. But when we despair we walk right into that tomb with Lazarus. And Jesus doesn’t join us there. He’s not going back into that tomb. He doesn’t legitimize our complaints, tell us we’re right, He should have shown up sooner. Rather, He calls us out of the tomb to come to Him. And Lazarus walked out, bound in grave-clothes, but alive again.
When I lost my first husband, I could have remained in the tomb, grieving, waiting for Jesus to say “Poor Carol. She’s been through so much.” I could have. I often felt like doing just that. But instead, God gave me Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you hope and a future.” He called me out of the tomb, to Himself, to continue on the path He still has for me. He called me back to LIFE.
And now, with the pressures I feel, He again calls me out of the tomb – of fear, of lack of trust, of self-absorption and doubt – to Himself, saying “If you believe, you will see the glory of God” (John 11:40). Can’t wait to see how this one turns out!
Are you in a tomb out of which you need to be called?