“One more day, just one more day. Put one step before the other. It will all be over soon, and life will get back to normal. Well, life will get back to the new normal, if life will ever be normal again without him.” The young woman covered from head to toe in black took deep breaths as she struggled to knead the bread dough. Everyone told her she didn’t need to do anything, but slapping the dough on the table helped ease her heart’s pain. “Why? Why?” She cried as tears slipped down her face. In frustration, she wiped the tears from her face, dumped the dough in a bowl, and then crumpled in a chair.
Suddenly there was a commotion outside. Looking up from her seat, she saw dust swirling down the road as a crowd of friends and family made their way to offer condolences to the family. She didn’t want to face anyone today; the house was already full of well-meaning friends. Why wouldn’t they all leave her alone? She just wanted to hide in her room to cry. She bowed her head and closed her eyes for a few minutes. She didn’t hear her sister until she was right next to her, and whispered in her ears. Jesus had come.
Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine how that day would end. She had awakened to a nightmare that gripped her heart and caused her to struggle even to breathe. Her brother, her beloved brother, had died, and he was gone. All was lost. How could she go on without him? And yet one encounter with Jesus changed everything. The earth shook, and even the air seemed charged with those words that she would never forget, “Lazarus come forth!” And he did, Lazarus came hopping out of the tomb. Even death obeyed Jesus.
I was watching the news last night, and I felt a wave of hopelessness wash over me. Instantly I knew from where that feeling had come. It was a spirit of death. This spirit has been unleashed upon us as we face one battle after another. This spirit, along with his brothers and cousins, is stirring up fear in people’s hearts around the world. All over the world, economies are failing, people are dying, and politicians are fighting. Who is right! Who is wrong? Is it too late? Is there any hope? I shook my head and closed my eyes, hoping it would all just disappear.
Suddenly, I heard a commotion in the distance. I opened my eyes and saw the dust swirling in the distance, and then the cloud of dust lifted to the heavens, and Jesus was standing before me with a host of his angelic warriors. Instantly I heard Jesus say, “Come forth!” Instantly the air was charged with the power of those words, and I realized that it was me coming out of the tomb. He was setting me free amid all the turmoil. But I wasn’t alone; he was calling to you as well. “Come forth!”
It seems like the world has gone crazy, and many are hurt and weary. Perhaps you are tired of it all. Have you ever felt like you want to pull up the covers of your bed and hide? Is it hard to get up in the morning? Do you feel hopeless and afraid of tomorrow? Remember, everything can change when Jesus speaks. While we don’t know how tomorrow will look, we know one thing, our help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven earth. He is our keeper. He will keep us in these strange times, and when it seems like all is lost, when it feels like we have no hope, he will say those words, “COME FORTH!”
When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”ESV
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. ESV