We all know that miraculous story from the eleventh chapter of the gospel of John. Lazarus was ill to the point of death, and his sisters summoned Jesus to come quickly to heal him. Jesus did the unthinkable and delayed His arrival until Lazarus had been dead for three days. All seemed hopeless.
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.John 11:25-26a
If you’re like me, when you read this passage, you smile when Jesus states that He is the resurrection and the life, knowing that the end of this chapter results in Lazarus doing the mummy-hop out of the tomb.
John 11:44 concludes this story to satisfaction with Mary and Martha reunited with their once-deceased brother Lazarus. That was the goal anyway, right? A happily-ever-after ending?
And yet, by using our reasoning skills, we realize that even though Lazarus was so miraculously raised from the dead, he still died at a later date. I wonder if he outlived Mary and Martha, or if they sat by his lifeless body a second time, praying for another miracle.
I think about this often when I read of miracles in the Gospels, where lame could walk and blind could see and lepers were made clean. I can only assume that their sinful flesh did not maintain perfect health until their eventual death. Did they pray for a miraculous healing for every cold and flu and broken arm? Did their faith start to wane when God, who has the power to heal completely and had healed them once before, didn’t heal them from future ills?
Friend, what are you seeking God for today – perhaps physical healing, or a husband, or a child, or a new job, or a friend? What if God gave it to you? Would that mean that you could stop seeking God’s face? Would that mean you finally achieved your “happily ever after” ending?
I believe the key to this whole story of Lazarus and to our own yet-unfulfilled desires rests in the reason that Jesus gave to Martha.
“…that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God.” John 11:40
When our response to God’s working is faith in Him, then the result will be seeing the glory of God.
The word used here for “glory” is defined as “honor, renown; glory, an especially divine quality, the unspoken manifestation of God, splendor.” I especially love “the unspoken manifestation of God” – that indescribable awe when you catch a glimpse of all that God is doing in you and your situation, and when you see a glimmer of who God truly is in all of His omniscient and sovereign majesty!
If God heals your body, it is so that you may see the glory of God.
If God leaves your body weak or in pain, it is so that you may see the glory of God.
If God’s plan for you is to remain unattached and available to serve, it is so that you may see the glory of God.
If God provides a man to be your husband, it is so that you may see the glory of God.
If God sees fit to bring your husband home to heaven and leave you as a widow, it is so that you may see the glory of God.
If God gives you the strength to keep pushing at your current job, it is so that you may see the glory of God.
If God provides a new job opportunity, it is so that you may see the glory of God.
If God blesses your home with the patter of tiny feet, it is so that you may see the glory of God.
If God’s plan for you does not seem to include children of your own, it is so that you may see the glory of God.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all.Philippians 3:8
Regardless of the physical end of your story, the result is always that we might see God’s glory. Lazarus did eventually die, but he is in heaven and those of us on earth can glorify God while reading the written account in John. Single girl, you might remain unwed or you might marry or you might become a young widow, but all of it is that God might evidence His glory.
Look for glimpses of His glory – the unspoken manifestation of God – today in your current situation!
The goodness of God led Amanda to repentance when she was a 12-year-old girl, and despite a heart prone to wander, He daily draws her to Himself. She continues to attend Lehigh Valley Baptist Church where she was raised, and enjoys sharing digital art and snippets of what God is teaching her on her Instagram account (@amandaangrrr). When Amanda isn’t working her day-job of managing an insurance agency, she is likely to be found trying a new local restaurant, sipping a coffee delicacy, learning something from a podcast or audio book, or finding an excuse to show off pictures of her nieces & nephews.