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June 6, 2008

A Place of Mourning

I was thnking today about the story of Lazarus and how Jesus let him die so that God would get the glory through that miraculous situation. You know, we often pray God will intervene in our life and give us the miricle we need. Then we add that we want Him to receive all the glory through the situation. We never expect it to lead to a death of the thing we desire. We don't expect to loose what we are holding on to so tightly, but we should expect it. Jesus said he who clings to his life will loose it, and it we want that seed to live, then we must let it die. That can only be done with the help of the Holy Spirit. Then when we finally release that thing to God, we are free, and now Jesus can come and resurect it with a new abundance of life.

I like to think about Mary in this story. Picture it in your mind. After this resurection, many come to follow Christ and I'm sure there was a big celebration with everyone coming back to their home. Can you see Martha in the kitchen singing of God's goodness and baking like a mad woman. I can see Mary walking around telling everyone the story about how they sent word to Jesus and how He delayed, but then she saw Him coming down the road and ran out to meet Him. I can also see Mary in the midst of the crowd, looking over at Jesus with a subtle smile because she was so in love with Him that she was getting lost in His wonderful mercy and grace that had descended upon her life. Then I can see after the last guest leaves, that Mary sneaks out and runs back to the empty tomb. She stands in the place of mourning and she begins to dance.

Only Jesus can turn your mourning into joy, and give you beauty for ashes. Only He can bring new life.