Friday, July 27, 2012

Hope to Hold Onto

Romans 8:11
John 11:34-45
Christianity is not just for "someday". We don't deprive ourselves now so that someday after our death we will receive the blessings promised by Christ. We live in the present, surrounded by blessings, knowing that the future holds even more for us. Jesus affirmed to Martha that there will be a resurrection in Him for all of us who place our lives in His hands. He confirmed for her that she could hold onto the hope of everlasting life even at the moment of her own death (Jn 11:25). Yet He was also concerned with the present, with Lazarus' moment of death and his sisters' need and desire for him. He didn't leave Martha with empty hands and a promise.
It is especially difficult to remember this when our lives are not going the way we planned. When someone we love dies, how can we avoid wondering why Christ didn't raise that person: we know that He could since He raised so many others from the dead. Does He love us less that He would not choose to protect our loved one from death when He chose to bring Lazarus back? But even in the midst of your sorrow don't lose all hope. Cry; acknowledge the suffering; deal with the pain; ask the Lord for strength to endure the trial. Christ intervenes in some situations by bringing us out of the suffering and in others by granting us the grace we need to survive and even succeed through the difficulties. Although He brought Lazarus back to life the first time, there's no reason to think He did the same for Mary or Martha or a second time for Lazarus. That didn't mean He loved them less; but He gave them hope to hold onto, the promise of eternal life.

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