DayBreaks for 4/11/14 – Neither Casseroles Nor Condolences for Jesus
John 11:21-26 (NLT) – Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” 23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.” 25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”
Pastor Bishop Kenneth Ulmer from Inglewood, CA, envisions the animating, life-fulfilling power of the Holy Spirit as something like the transformation that comes over the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon figures as they’re inflated. Without any air these huge balloons lay flat on the floor, limp, and featureless figures. But when the wind starts whipping up inside those balloons, they begin to rise, fill out and stand tall. They become individuals, people and creatures that we recognize and love. Once on the parade route, these balloons take on even more life, for they are animated not just by the air within them, but by the winds that buffet and bolster them down the street.
In John 11, Jesus doesn’t appear before Martha and Mary – who are in agony over the death of their brother Lazarus – carrying a casserole and condolences. Jesus doesn’t mutter platitudes or concede that Lazarus’ death is a tragedy that could have been avoided if Jesus had gotten there earlier.
Instead, Jesus bypasses their house and goes straight to his best friend’s tomb and calls out, “Lazarus, come forth!” As experienced by Ezekiel and the psalmist, once again the animating spirit of God moves with power and precision, and brings a dead man walking (or levitating as he’s still bound hand and foot) right out of his tomb!
Instead of condolences, this is what God settles for!!!! Miracle, rebirth, deliverance from the pit, and eternal redemption. God doesn’t define winning as not losing. God doesn’t settle for anything less than joy unbounded, and glory filled dreams fulfilled.
Will we all see our dreams fulfilled in this life on earth? Absolutely not. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t be super-fulfilled in the life we shall one day possess in fullness. Will it be worth waiting for? I can’t tell you from personal experience one way or the other, but this I can say: if God is as good as His word, it will be far better than we could ever imagine!
PRAYER: Lord, I’m so grateful that you don’t define winning as not losing, but your idea of winning is beyond our wildest dreams! I am so grateful that nothing can deny you your victory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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