The Lazarus Twist
John 11 tells the story of Lazarus. Before I dive in, allow me to ask you some questions. Have you a dream? Did you have a dream you stopped dreaming, so you let it die? Did you get tired of waiting for it to happen? Did you pray? Did you continue to pray?
Lazarus was sick and his sisters sent word to Jesus telling him, “one you love is sick”. His response when he heard this, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Then, Jesus waited two days to tell the disciples they needed to return to Judea.
Verse 11 Jesus tells them “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” I would have been like the disciples thinking he was merely asleep, and rest would do him good. But Jesus clarifies in verse 14, “Lazarus has died.” By the time they arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been in the tomb four days.
Both sisters believed had Jesus been there he would have healed him and therefore, he would not have died. In verse 40, Jesus said to Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God? (back in verse 25). He then calls Lazarus out of the grave.
I always looked at this story as a marvel of the power of God. However, recently I have been reading “When God Doesn’t Fix It” by Laura Story and she threw a different light on this story. Not getting into all of her story, but her revelation about Lazarus and dreams just smacked me. The questions she asked really made me ponder. “Is there something you’ve let go of because you couldn’t make it happen? Do you believe that if you offered it to God, he could raise it or make it happen? Jesus takes dead thing and revives them…And though he doesn’t promise to restore everything until we enter Restoration, occasionally we get a glimpse of things we let die being revived. And in that moment, we see the glory of God.” You cannot pray enough to make whatever you dream happen if God is not behind it.
So many times, we dream a dream, present it to God and then go about making it happen. Sometimes it is a dream that is easy to accomplish. But there are times that the dream we have is hard to make happen on our own. We work at it and continue to pray about it, but it is just not happening. With tears in our eyes, we give it up. We bury it. Since we cannot make it happen, then we just give it up. But what if God was not finished working on you through this dream? (Read that question again and make sure you notice the “you” part.) What if God was not finished with that dream.
I stopped dreaming big dreams years ago because they always lead to disappointment. I was told “no” to so many dreams that I just stopped. If I did have a dream, it did not take long for me to give up. I dreamed of writing and actually having something published. Self-doubt quickly arose and I started the process of letting go of the publishing part. I started giving up on writing my blog. I went from writing and studying God’s word, to avoiding both. BUT GOD…He was not finished with me. He has shown me where I went wrong. You see, I failed to continue the studying of God’s word and allowing it to direct my writing. God stopped being a part of my preparation to write. I could include God in my writing with well placed scripture; however, was He really directing my writing?
When I started the blog, I wanted it to be about finding God’s grace for me and others. I would study or pray and then invite God to lead. I wrote for Him. I wrote whatever He wanted me to write, even when it was a hard thing for me to share. I allowed Him control. And then, I took control. I wanted more readers, only to be disappointed. I started writing for others. He was present, but not at the center. So, slowly I started writing less. My Lazarus is my writing. In John 11:4, Jesus says, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” My “illness” was selfishness. “I wanted” not “God wanted.” My hope is that you will find your Lazarus moment. A dream YOU buried that God did not bury and was not finished with YOU through that dream.