I don’t know if you are anything like me. I suppose I grew up a picky eater. My wife says that I need to learn to enjoy other foods other than just meat and potatoes. In my defense, I like fruits and vegetables, just not all of them. I am trying to branch out and try new foods. When trying a new food, I rarely struggle with the taste but rather with, you guessed it, the texture!
Texture is what makes something great or unbearable. Without texture, life would be boring and bland. Imagine if you knew exactly what would happen day in and day out. No surprises. No changing it up. Same thing. For some of you that sounds exciting, but for most of us, we needed a little bit of “texture” in our life.
For an example of this, let’s look at the life of Lazarus. He is a normal everyday guy who is a good friend to Jesus. Sounds like someone we should be like! He has two sisters. One likes to work diligently and the other likes to learn diligently. You know them as Mary and Martha!
One day Lazarus gets sick and is on the verge of death. If you have ever been in this position, seeing a family member struggling for their life, you can understand why these sisters immediately sent word to their friend Jesus.
He is called the Great Physician, but in this moment He doesn’t act much like one. Instead of heading to his friend Lazarus, He continues with what he is doing. He makes a statement that “this sickness is not unto death.” Shortly after, He receives another message that He is too late. Lazarus is dead. Don’t bother.
How do we as believers cope and wrestle with what our circumstance is and what Jesus has said? When our dreams seem dead but we know God gave them to us?
In this story, as with every story in the Bible, we know the outcome. Jesus comes too late but still raises Lazarus to life. When all seemed lost, Jesus stepped in and resurrected the dream. He raised to life the lost soul. But in our life, we don’t always know the outcome, so how do we live in the texture.
Here is where our faith and our circumstances collide. And whenever this happens, God’s Word will always win. Before Lazarus was in the grave, Jesus said, this sickness is not unto death. His Word spoke, and so all of nature and science has to follow His voice. The same Word that spoke and their was light. The same Word that spoke and life was created. This Word will always have the final say.
He is the alpha and omega.
He is the beginning and the end.
He is the author and the finisher.
We know the end of the story. Therefore, everything that happens in the middle is just...texture. What good is a movie without the conflict? What good is that book you are engrossed in without the struggle? This is what makes our life worth living. Not that we struggle, but waiting with expectation for how God is going to resurrect something out of our struggle.
There is one more story that has always given me pause. At the end of Mark 6, Jesus sends his disciples across the lake in a boat. He stays behind and tells them He will meet them on the other side. During the night, the disciples are struggling with the wind and waves, and Jesus is about to walk right by! It literally says, “he would have walked right by.” Why would He do this? They are in trouble, struggling with the storm.
Because He told them He would meet them on the other side. And when He says something, it will happen. There isn’t a storm big enough that can hinder the Word if God. It doesn’t matter what happens in the middle, because we know what will happen in the end.
And even if your circumstance does end in death, it is not the end, but the beginning of an eternal life greater than we could imagine. Death then, is just one more layer of texture in this story where God has the final say. As heartbreaking as death is, we know the victory is ours. Hold on to that today!