“This sickness is not unto death.” John 11:4
Not everything is as it appears. People are born destined to die. The question is not the beginning and the end of human life, the question is what happens in the time-space in between. Sickness, struggles, and difficulties are a part of our life journey and how we view these events will determine our understanding of not only others and ourselves but also our understanding of God.
Jesus, like most in the human experience, developed deep relationships. Outside Jesus’ twelve (of whom eleven were to become the Apostles that Paul said were, “pillars” (Gal 2:9) of the Lord’s Church Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus seems to be His closest relationships.
Lazarus, in the space between birth and death, was sick and his sisters sent for their friend, Jesus, to help. The One who has the power over not just life and death but the time-space in between. Jesus, upon receiving their messenger with a request to come and help, said to them:
“When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” (John 11:4)
Most of the people who are reading this already know that Jesus lingers in His journey to grant the request of the sisters of Lazarus and he dies and when Jesus came to the family in the morning the scripture records that Jesus stood outside Lazarus' place of burial:
“When Jesus, therefore, saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.” (John 11:33)
Jesus wept not for Lazarus. He knew in just a few minutes Lazarus would sit with Him and rejoice over the work God had done in his life. Jesus wept for the pain of Mary and Martha as they experienced the time-space that exists between life and death. Jesus’ grief was not for the dead but the living.
The power you hold to be an overcomer and have joy in the time you dwell on this earth is found in Jesus' words to his disciples:
“This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” (John 11:4)
Our life’s purpose as followers of Jesus is to bring glory to the Son of God. In sickness or in good health, in suffering or in joy, in birth and death, your single purpose is to bring glory to the Son of God.
You, like the sisters of Lazarus, often do not understand what God is doing in your times of difficulty but you can rest assured that God’s love for you will give you strength. The Apostle Paul makes this observation about difficulties in the space between birth and death:
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Co 12:9)
If you are living through a difficult time in your life, look for Jesus for your power and strength and “glory in (your) infirmities.” When the “power of Christ” is in your life you will bring not only victory in your life but will bring glory to the Son of God.
A promise to you in your time of need is offered by the Wiseman Solomon:
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Pro 3:5-6)
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