The Best is Yet to Come
It was a Sunday afternoon, and I was visiting my wife at her nursing care residence. An afternoon worship service was planned by a visiting pastor. His message was based on the Jesus’ raising of Lazarus. The familiar scripture takes place in John chapter 11. The story addresses the subjects of life, death and resurrection found in scripture.
Mary and Martha had sent word to Jesus that their brother Lazarus was ill, praying that Jesus would visit and heal him. Jesus delayed his arrival for several days and Lazarus passed away. He was not in a hurry. Lazarus would live again.
I’ve often wondered why prayers aren’t answered or the answer is slow in coming. Many times, we wait for the Lord in the midst of a bad situation and wonder why he doesn’t respond more quickly. I believe he is always listening, but this scripture helps me understand that God answers in his way, in his time, for his purpose.
Jesus speaks one of the most powerful Christian messages ever: “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 shows Jesus’ power over death and this reassurance is a bedrock of our Christian faith.
Jesus wept, revealing his compassion for Mary, Martha and others at the grave, sharing their grief and revealing his human side. I think that Jesus was feeling our pain and our sin too. Then there is the cave, the stone, the grave clothes. Perhaps he was feeling the agony of what laid before him. Fully God, fully human. There is nothing that I am going through that He hasn’t experienced.
The pastor concluded his message with a question. He asked, “What would you say, after seeing Lazarus walk out of that cave? ……………….. Silence followed. Then from his wheelchair at the back of the room, Ronald shouted “HOLY MACKEREL”. Smiles and chuckles followed. It was easy to imagine Ronald standing with a smiling Jesus, and Jesus saying “Ronald, you haven’t seen anything yet, the best is yet to come.”
Lord, we thank you that You will raise all of Your believers to life one day, just like You raised Lazarus from the dead. Help us to keep believing in You and looking forward to the best that’s yet to come. Amen
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.