My life is literally like a roller coaster these days. It’s amazing how many emotions one can feel in a day, in an hour, in a moment. Writing is what I do when my soul is disturbed; when my heart is hurting. It soothes me. It takes all the jumbled mixed up pieces of my mind; my heart; all the worries, all the cares and concerns, all the pain and packages it up in one big piece of writing. So that I can be free - for a little while longer.
This morning, I was crying out to God as I often do these days, and I just sobbed, “You’re too late. He is so sick. He is so very sick and weak. If you had only touched him .” Suddenly my mind was brought to a little town called Bethany, to the tomb of Lazarus and to Mary and Martha’s very soul. They told Jesus to come. They were personal friends with Him. They loved him. They told Him to come and he didn’t. How disheartened they must have been. But not only disheartened, betrayed, alone, abandoned by the one friend they knew could help. Their ache must have reached to the sky. He had just wasted 4 days getting there to help. He did - you can read it in your Bible. Yeah, he healed the sick and preached and all that he did in a day - but this was his friend. They were his friends and he let them down.
Imagine Mary and Martha’s disappointment and anger when they saw him walking down the road a few days too late. I don’t think they were excited to see him. I think that they were just filled with grief and torment and yes, a little bit of anger. Jesus could have made a difference. Jesus could have touched him. Jesus could have spoken the word and he would have been walking and talking and eating and laughing. But he chose not to.
But there was something that Jesus knew that they didn’t. Lazarus was in the grave, but it was NOT too late. You see for Jesus to heal him before he was buried wasn’t any harder than for Jesus to heal him afterwards. Really made no difference at all.
Suddenly I was struck with the words, “It’s not too late.” And it’s not. It’s not over til it’s over and EVEN THEN it’s not over. I know that my husband and my son and I were talking (and I believe that the rest of the family would agree) that if Dad dies, we will pray that God raises him from the dead, that day and three days after. Because Dad has never been very predictable and neither is God, so that’s a good combination for something crazy and unexpected.
If I am to be honest, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I so desperately want Dad to live and have a quality of life and have more years and write more books. I am selfish, I want him for 20 more years. But I am constantly balancing that with what I have seen and the reality is that I have seen many die before their time so you will often hear me say, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” Because that’s real, friends. That’s real. With all my heart, I believe, but for every smattering of faith I have, I have a million little smatterings of unbelief. Not ever unbelief that he is ABLE, but unbelief that he WILL. And that’s ok, because there was a beautiful man in the Bible that said those words and Jesus stretched out his Hand anyways, through unbelief and belief alike, through pain and tears and through disappointment and hope deferred and he healed.
But in all the unbelief and the belief, in all the questions unanswered; all the confusion that sometimes, crowds my mind, with shaking knees and quivering hands I once again reach for that sword because there is one thing I do know, I KNOW...
I KNOW ITS NOT TOO LATE.