Friday, January 1, 2016
The Cost of Miracles
"Jesus said, 'Take away the stone.' Martha said to Him, 'Lord...there is a stench.' Jesus said to her, 'Did I not say to you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?'" John 11:39-40, NKJV.
The stage was set for one of the most miraculous events in history. Mary and Martha's brother had died four days before and had been laid in the sealed tomb. When Jesus arrived, He possessed all of the required power to raise Lazarus from the dead. He could have spoken for the stone to roll away and it would have. He could have shaken the earth beneath the stone causing it to crumble in a million pieces. He could have breathed life back in Lazarus without even being there. So what was the means Jesus used to perform this miracle? Both Martha's obedience and participation.
Jesus certainly could have made this happen on His own but sometimes a miracle is meant to cost us something. Many times our fulfilled dreams will come from God asking us to do something that might stink...something that goes against the deepest part of us...something that requires us to act on our faith regardless of the outcome. There were times in the Bible where Jesus explained that healing and deliverance came squarely from the faith of the petitioner. When we pray for something that has been on our list for so long there will come a time when He is ready to answer. So what if, like Martha, we are standing on the other side of the miracle, and God requires an act of faith to claim it? What if we are the vessel that becomes the final piece of the puzzle that makes our dreams a reality, but our part requires what is scary and uncomfortable?
This is where our head faith meets our heart faith...where we must choose to put action to our words...where we put up or shut up. My prayer is that I will have the courage during these times to hold my nose and reach for the stone, being an intrument in God's hand. I wonder how many miracles along the way were deferred by my fear or my unwillingness to obey and participate. We all have God's power upon which to call, and must have the belief and courage to claim and receive it in Christ. By doing this, not only do we receive the miracle but gain freedom in the journey.
In 2016, may we all do our part in participating with Christ in whatever that looks like for each of us.