Four Days Dead

According to the book, “The New Manners and Customs of the Bible”, upon a death, there were certain Rabbinical procedures that took place. Of those steps, there were to be three days of weeping followed by four days of lamentation (or sorrow). These two events together comprised the seven days of mourning that the Jews observed. 
Again, according to this book, during the first three days, rabbinical thought suggested that the spirit of the deceased would wander about the sepulcher seeking an opportunity to return to the body. Friends of the deceased would visit the sepulcher for three days, likely to be close to the deceased. However, on the fourth day, when decomposition took hold, the spirit would wander no more and the faithful friends who had been visitors to the grave would grieve loudly. 
Now, you may wonder why I bring this up. And here’s the reason. When we look at John 11 and read the story of  Lazarus’ death, we find out that although Jesus received the news of Lazarus’ illness, he tarried. He didn’t rush to be with the family. He instead delayed his trip. Was he being harsh? NO. Absolutely not. He knew what He was doing. He was always in control. 
When Jesus gets to Bethany, Lazarus had been dead four days. Ah, now, you’re following me, right? And it would seem to those looking on the outside that there would be no way, now that the body of Lazarus has entered into the decomposition phase, to return him to life. According to Rabbinical beliefs, his spirit has “left the building” and is no longer wandering about the sepulcher. His spirit has left the grave site and is no longer seeking a way to return to the body. The friends and family would not be expecting to see Lazarus again. Instead, according to “The New Manners and Customs of the Bible”, these friends and family would have now moved to the point of lamentation. Yet, here stands Jesus with a declaration “Thy brother shall rise again.” (John 11:23) 
And then He goes on to say that He is the resurrection and the life. He has the power to resurrect the dead things in our lives, no matter how dead they look. Lazarus had been dead four days, yet when Jesus cried out with a loud voice “Lazarus, come forth” (KJV), he came forth, still bound in his grave clothes.And when Jesus gave the command for the garments to “loose him, and let him go”, they did just that. (John 11:44)
There is nothing going on in our lives that is too hard for God. There is nothing going on in our lives that He cannot remedy. But we first have to come to accept Him as our Lord. Many of the Jews that were with Mary, having witnessed this miracle, believed in Jesus. 
We may never see the dead rise or any miracle that is as awe-inspiring, but we have the Holy Bible and the promises of God to remind us of just how powerful He is. So, don’t sit down and give up when a situation looks hard, difficult or dead. Instead, send your petition to Jesus on your knees. He will get the message. And when He is ready, in His own time, He will come with your deliverance, just like He did with Lazarus. He will bring forth your answer and He stands ready to breath new life into your situation. 
Hold your head up now and look to God. He knows and He cares. He has not left you alone in that situation. Whether you’ve been going through it four minutes, four hours, four days or forever (it seems), know that God is not late. He’s going to be there, right on time.   

Copyright Beams of Light Ministries

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Out of the Box!

I was riding a bubble and then it burst. Splat. Whistle-noise. Thud. You got me?
Yea, it was fun while I was up there though. I ventured out and experienced some things that I had never bothered to experience previously. And, I laughed so much! And as I reflect on my journey, I’m laughing now.
Would I rather be afloat in the clouds still? Sure. But the reality is far different. You did read the “thud” part above, right? But the wonderful thing about it all is that I can rest confidently in knowing that I tried something new. I got out of my box and for a little while, I conquered new territory that was once off-limits to me (mentally, anyway).
God has given us so much. It’s a shame to never experience anything outside of our comfort zone. And by going outside of our comfort zone, I’m not referring to anything that’s not holy or God-honoring. Instead, I’m referring to the limits that we place on ourselves because we are too afraid to see beyond the experiences we know. I believe that God wants us to experience more than just the repetitive things that we see. Discover how grand God is by looking at the trees. He didn’t only make one type of tree. No, He stretched out before us various types of trees with different shapes, bark, leaves, root structures, height and, well, you get the point. God didn’t settle for just one plain vanilla tree. He brought us variety.
So, I encourage you today to set your sights on more than just what’s comfortable. Stretch yourself and include some variety. Whether that means learning Scripture in more than one translation or driving to the countryside to glimpse God’s beauty instead of just hanging inside the area you know, or whatever you choose, do something new that will give Him glory.
Now, you may say, “well, your experience ended with a splat.” Well, yes, it did. The splat was my word but it was not a bad experience. Maybe I should have used the word “pop”, but quite frankly, I just like the visualization of the word “splat”. In my mind, this particular experience is over, but just like paint splashing on the floor, I’ve been stretched – and I’ve got a broader experience to bank in my memory.  And, most importantly, I’m grateful to God for the opportunity to experience this new thing. Now, go on out there and experience yours! 

Copyright Beams of Light Ministries

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.