Study from God’s Word… John, Chapter 11, the story of Lazarus raised from the dead … Passage for Reflection: John 11: 37 … NIV But some of them (Jews who had come to console Mary and Martha at the death of their brother, Lazarus) said, “could not He who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
My Journal for Today: I totally agree with Dr. LaGard Smith in his devotional entry for this date, reflecting on the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, … that we, who are believers in Jesus as The Christ, are asking the wrong question if, like Martha and Mary, we wonder why God doesn’t save any loved one of ours who dies or one who suffers greatly for a long period of time. We’re essentially asking, “Lord, why do you let, [??name??], our loved one, die?” When we more likely, according to Dr. Smith, should be asking, “Why, God, have You let any of us live?”
I would guess that most, if not all, of those reading here with me have had someone close to us who has passed away from sickness, maybe a child or a dear one who suffered a ghastly or tragic death; and it’s so tempting and human to ask of God, “Why, Lord?!” But, as Dr. Smith points out, if we’re really honest and reflective, we can probably also think of a time or a scenario where someone we know, or even our very self, lived through a disease, accident, or incident where we should likely have died, but we, or the loved one, were spared to live on.
So, as Dr. Smith asks in his challenge question for the day, ”If perhaps God has let my loved one die, have I seriously considered why He has let me live?”
And that question cuts at the core of whom we are as Christians, … sinners who deserve death in our sin nature, but we have been allowed to live, both temporally and eternally, by a loving God who desires to have fellowship forever with any who receive the saving grace which came through the Lamb of God dying to save us on the Cross. We live temporally at the grace of God in this life, even though we deserve death in our sinfulness [see the combined truth and outcomes of Romans 3: 23 and Romans 6: 23]. So, if we live, it is only through God’s grace; and we live eternally as well only because of that same grace from a loving God, Who desires to have an eternal relationship with those who come to Him in faith.
As I do often when I write my morning devotional entries here in this quiet place most mornings, I pray – as I will below – that those who are reading here realize, as do I, that we live and have our being at the grace of our God, … the giver (and yes, the taker) of life.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, I pray that I can always see that I have my life, as do my friends who read here, because of Your grace and mercy. May we never take that for granted? Amen