This Sickness is Not to End in Death

John 11:1 – 4 NASB – “Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.  So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, ‘Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.’  But when Jesus heard this, He said, ‘This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.'”

Happy Monday everyone (or whatever day it is by the time you grace this post with your presence)!  This post was originally scheduled to go out on Friday, but I enjoyed the comments on the  Who Am I? post so much that I just had to celebrate those ladies a bit on Friday!  I really enjoyed sharing with you.  We’ll have to do that again soon.

Well, I’m trying to play catch up from my unexpected blog hiatus.  I hope you don’t mind.  (I told you I missed you! lol…)  In my post from last Monday, I shared that I have been lassoed by John 11:1-45.  This is John’s account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.  After doing a little research, I found that the book of John is the only Gospel that records this emotional story.  Just a little tidbit for your Bible trivia library.

Anyway, I have heard this story time and again, and I’ve read the book of John more times than I can remember.  But never has this story so sucked me in the way it did about a week ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I mean HOOKED folks!  The best Christian Fiction or any other Fiction (and I know there’s some good stuff out there) has absolutely nothing on the raw truths contained in God’s word.

To date, I’ve received two comments on my I Have Missed You post from Monday, and each of these ladies expressed an interest in checking out the “goods” in this passage of scripture.  So I decided to end our week by sharing a few of my revelations, and then maybe some of you can chime in.

Let’s begin with the first four verses above.  The story opens by telling us that dear Lazarus – brother to Mary and Martha – is ill.  One of the first things I noted is that John was intentional in providing further identification of sister Mary.  Hmmmm….  I wonder what that was for.  Maybe we’ll toss around some ideas on that one later.

We can infer that Lazarus’ illness was pretty serious, because his sisters sent word to Jesus to tell him about it.  Their message to him was simple, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”  For me, this is where the emotion of this passage begins.  Just think about it.  How did you feel the last time you found out someone you loved was ill?  Not so great, right?  Although Jesus was perfect in every way, as He walked this earth in the flesh, He did experience the emotions we work so hard to keep in check today. I don’t know about you, but that thought is always comforting to me.

What captivated me and really started me thinking was Jesus’ response to the message he had just received.  He simply stated, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the son of God may be glorified by it.”

After reading these words, I couldn’t help but begin looking at my own life, surveying my “sickness”, and wondering if maybe I’ve been looking at things through clouded lenses.  Am I sick physically?  No I am not, praise the Lord.  But there is “sickness” in my life.  There are places that look so ill, so weak until I can’t imagine how life could ever be revived there.  I’ll go a step further.  There are places in my life that even look, dare I say it, dead.  So I asked myself, “have I sent the message regarding my sickness to my Lord?”

And here is where I will stop, leaving you with a few simple questions and the four verses above to ponder.

1.  Are you struggling through a “sickness” today?  Maybe it’s a physical illness, or maybe it’s something a little less obvious – like a plague in your Finances, a virus in your relationships, or an infection in your emotions brought on by an open wound that’s slow to heal.

2.  Have you sent a message to Jesus regarding your “sickness“?

3.  Do you trust His answer?

4.  Have you considered that God’s plans are always to use your “sickness” for His glory?

5.  Will you let His perfect will be done?

Take time over the next few days and really give some thought to these questions.  Let me know if I can run to Jesus with the message of your “sickness” on your behalf.  I would be honored to do so.

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

P.S.  Next week we’ll continue this study of John 11:1-45.  Stay tuned…

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Wanda
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 16:55:55

    Monica, glad you dished out a few tidbits on what you’ve been digesting from this passage. I must say you’ve issued out plenty to chew on this week.


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