there's something about the story of the death of lazarus that tugs and pulls on my heart strings.
Jesus so loved lazarus and mary and martha. and yet when they made a request for Him to come and answer their prayers, He chose to stay behind and not do anything. in fact, He waited till it got so bad that their prayer request had gone to the grave. im sure lazarus questioned Jesus on his deathbed, wondering where His beloved friend was. im sure he thought to himself "if he could heal other people with one word, all he has to do is speak it over me and i will be healed.... why isn't He here? i thought He loved me." mary and martha were also heart broken and im sure they were disappointed. they had called on Him, they were desperate for Him. they made sure that their cries were heard. but Jesus chose to "turn a deaf ear" for a season and didn't answer their prayers right away.
Jesus loved lazarus... and yet allowed Him to go through this pain.
Jesus chose to remain at a distance and let lazarus go through the process of death.
Jesus allowed for Mary and Martha to be disappointed for a season.
Jesus allowed for their hearts to be broken.
these past few years i have seen God work amazing miracles and answer prayers of mine in ways that that i never thought possible. but i have also seen "death" in some of the dreams and prayers i have prayed. the strange thing is... the ones that are "dead" right now are the ones i so desperately wish He would answer. they are the ones closest to my heart. though the disappointment of unanswered prayers don't hurt as bad as it used to, there are some days when the memories sting my heart and the pain becomes all too real once again.
and for the past few days,
the memories of unanswered prayers have stung my heart.
my initial reaction is to question His love for me. after all, if He loved me, why would He take this long to answer these requests (most of which are desires that i believe He has planted in my heart). why would He allow for me to believe for something to happen and wait for years to go by without a solid answer from Him?
but reading this story brings me back to my senses and reminds me that hard times will happen to EVERYONE, especially to those whom He loves. sometimes, the circumstances are almost even harder to bear because He promises He loves you and He proves this time and time again... and yet when you pray there is no answer. there is no instant miracle. and you are left behind with this ache in your heart as you are:
trying to keep the hope alive...
but sometimes it's too painful
and you feel your heart breaking.
you long to gasp for breath
reaching out to the only One who can breathe life into you.
you are desperately crying
and you need Him so badly
yet He is no where near to be found.
to be continued: breathe life [part 2]
Now a certain man named Lazarus was will. He was of Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived. This Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped His feet with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was [now] sick. 3So the sisters sent to Him, saying, Lord, he whom You love [so well] is sick. 4When Jesus received the message, He said, This sickness is not to end in death; but [on the contrary] it is to honor God and to promote His glory, that the Son of God may be glorified through (by) it. 5Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. [They were His dear friends, and He held them in loving esteem.] 6Therefore [even] when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He still stayed two days longer in the same place where He was. 14So then Jesus told them plainly, Lazarus is dead, 15And for your sake I am glad that I was not there; it will help you to believe (to trust and rely on Me). However, let us go to him. [john 11:3-15 amp]