I firmly believe this is a year of restoration…
I may not understand everything (and probably won’t) but Papa is a restoring God. Those hopes that have been differed in my own life and yours have been heard. Those sleepless nights where it seems everyone else is having their desires met have not gone unnoticed. Papa is a good good Father.
I know I have been quiet in motivating and inspiring posts… because honestly? I haven’t felt the motivation or the inspiration… this has been a very trying time for me and as a result I’ve tried to “fix it”. Something has felt broken for a while and honestly it has not felt fixed. But the truth is, “fixing it” means to turn to Papa about the whole thing.
I am reminded of a story in the Bible that holds dear to my heart. I’m sure a lot of us know of it. It is the story of Lazarus. Most of us know he was Mary and Martha’s brother. Most of us know that he was dying.
And he died. He was dead for four whole days.
Four days his sisters waited.
And they waited.
And still they waited.
And the more they waited the more the hurt grew.
The more they waited the more hopeless the situation felt.
In my own life his whole last year has been a battle. I received a promise last year during Christmas. A dear friend gave me a scripture to stand on: Psalm 138.8- The Lord perfects that which concerns me. Month after month has come and gone. Even now I haven’t seen the promise fulfilled. But one thing I do know. The promise will be fulfilled.
While Lazarus was on his last breath and had died, Jesus told his disciples, “I know he is dead, and I’m glad for your sake that I’m not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.”
And on that fourth day the little hopes those sisters had dwindled into nothing.
The funeral session had begun. Many of the Jews knew the family and made their journey of 2 miles from Jerusalem to Bethany to console the sisters. Martha heard Jesus was coming and so she went out to be with the party, but Mary stayed in the house. When Martha saw Jesus, it wasn’t business as usual. You could see the hopelessness and tears of disappointment in her eyes. The air was thick with mixed emotions as Martha’s cracking voice filled the space,
“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give to you.”
Jesus’ next response almost came as an awkward comfort.
“Your brother will rise again.”
With a chuckle choking down the tears, Martha looked up at Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
But Jesus wasn’t talking about the last day-
“I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
All Jesus needed was a little bit of faith.
In all honesty, I have often wondered why in the world Jesus would make a statement like that to his disciples. Who knows? I do know one thing, if He was there, Lazarus would have been healed- because that is who Jesus is He is the healer. He raised Lazarus from the dead so that hope could be restored. That’s who Jesus is. Nonetheless… Jesus was there.
What amazes me in this story, is Martha. She often gets a bad rap for being the working one while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet. But here I do believe she shines like a diamond. She doesn’t hide in her pain. She goes to Jesus. She gives Him her 2 cents. And even in her brokenness, she still believes as evident with just 2 words- Even Now.
If I could just translate Martha’s verbiage I would say it like this, “I don’t understand why this whole thing has happened and I love you Jesus, but I hate your guts right now. I’m confused and hurt and this is hard and my heart is breaking but even now I want to tell you whatever you say you’ll have.”
Even now. Wow.
Can I tell you it ain’t over yet?
Earlier this year we had a tornado that ripped through the city of Rowlett and it has been hard for the city. And hopes and dreams that were given for just a day were ripped apart the very next day. Those of you who don’t know, the tornado came through the day after Christmas.
But Papa keeps His promises. Yeah it looks hard. But Papa keeps His promises.
Hope differed makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. We may be in the dead of winter and everything around you may look dead and soaked with cold air and snow and all things hopeless, but spring is coming. Jesus said for us to ask and don’t doubt that we will have what we ask for and if we do that, we will have whatever we ask.
Do you believe this?
Do you have a situation that seems hopeless to you? Do you have a dream that seems to have died? Have you done everything in your power to tend to that dream and it looks like it is just crumbling in your hands? I’m here to encourage you today. I’ve been believing for fulfilled promises. I’ve seen more hopes differed than I care to admit. I haven’t seen my promise but I know it is coming. Yes. Even now. Because nothing is too hard for God. Be encouraged beloved. Keep praying. Never stop. Be stubbornly courageous to believe… yes… even now…. Because Papa keeps His promises.