In my devotionals this week, the story from which this blog got its name came up. Jesus tells the disciples that this man was blind from birth not because of his sin or because of his parents’ sin. He was blind so that the power of God could be seen. Jesus healed the man, and many believed that He is the Son of God.
Today’s story stirred my heart and launched my spirit. I could not wait to sit down and share muy thoughts with you.
Jesus’ very dear friend, Lazarus, was sick. Near death, his sisters sent for Jesus to tell them of their brother’s illness. Do you remember how Jesus responded?
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
Jesus, who holds the power of life and death, did not go. He deliberately waited. He could have healed Lazarus and prevented his family from being saddened. But Jesus had a bigger plan that even the disciples did not see. A part of the story that I have never seen before until today was that Jesus became angry after He arrived at the town where Lazarus was buried.
Some translation said that He was deeply troubled, that His spirit groaned. Bottom line: Jesus did not weep because Lazarus was dead. He was moved at the lack of faith in His disciples. He was still angry when He got to the tomb (vs. 38) and commanded that the stone be removed from the entrance. A large crowd had gathered to mourn with the family. The Bible does not say how many were there on the scene, but Jesus prayed:
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” (John 11:41-42, New International Version, ©2011)
Jesus prays out loud in order to get the crowd to watch God’s power be revealed. Through the death of Lazarus, God was going to let that whole town know that Jesus was sent by Him. He was going to let them know that He is alive and more powerful than anything they have ever witnessed. The winds and the waves obey this man, demons run and hide, disease has no stronghold, not even death can hold His power back.
Do you see it? Jesus waited in order to draw up enough attention. He wanted an audience. He could have healed Lazarus when it was just his family that had gathered. Jesus wanted to show a multitude His power and authority over life and death.
In October, we started this blog to share with you our story. We wanted to drag you along with us so that you can pray for us. From the very beginning, we believed that God’s power will be revealed through Beth’s illness. Since it’s launch in October, our blog has been visited 8,565 times and has been seen in 41 countries. That does not include the number of people who have subscribed and receive updates through e-mail.
I am asking you to tell more people. Share this blog with everyone you know. Team Beth is global and is watching. God is preparing to do something big. I have no idea what it is. He is waiting to heal her. He could reach in her sweet body and remove the cancer inside of her. He could speak and she would be whole again.
But He is waiting. For what, I do not know. Tell everyone you know about the blog. Share our story with anyone who will sit still long enough to listen. Paste a link on your blog and your Facebook. Blow up your Twitter account. God’s power is going to be revealed and He wants the whole world to know that He is alive.
Help us spread the word. Continue to pray…
…and then watch.