I spilled a good 24 ounces of water onto my kitchen counter just as I was about to leave my apartment to head to work this morning. I was so frustrated…I’d managed to finish my devotions and have my lunch and gym clothes all packed and ready for me to leave in time just for me to spend an extra 5-7 minutes trying to completely dry off all the water from the counter. And I almost forgot to grab my breakfast when I was heading out the door because I’d become frazzled.
Since I was a good 11 minutes behind, I decided to skip trying to plug my phone up to the AUX cord, and to just start driving to work. Which is weird for me because I really never drive in silence unless someone’s in the car with me and we’re trying to have a discussion, but if I’m alone, it’s guaranteed that I’m listening to something: music or a podcast.
Instead, I decided to pray out loud as I made my way down the streets and towards the mountain where I work. It had been a long time since I’d prayed out loud in my car, but I just let the words flow out of me – whatever or whoever came to my mind, I prayed for.
And as I prayed and spoke about people and some specific situations that were heart-breaking and difficult, I realized that either in my mind or in the minds of the people I was mentioning, there seemed to be lost hope for whatever had happened or was currently occurring. I prayed over these situations, and also prayed for the hearts of myself and the people involved, that those of us who trust in God wouldn’t doubt that He could move or change the situation.
There are so many hard, devastating, inconvenient things that happen in the world and in our personal lives, and I can truly only speak for myself, but I wonder how many of us hear about a situation and automatically stamp it as “well, it’s done, nothing can change now”? I feel like a lot of people hear words like “divorced” or “separated,” “illness,” “falling out,” “missing,” “lost,” and automatically assume and believe that those things can never be reversed or redeemed; that things can’t go back to the way they were, or they can’t get better.
For me, I honestly sometimes feel like if I were to pray for God to work in a situation that was mentioned above, I can admit that a big part of my heart has already declared it as finished. But what kind of faith do I have in God if I don’t believe He can move in what seem like dead situations?
This all ties in SO beautifully with the church sermon I heard yesterday. We discussed Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, and how God’s glory is not only revealed in amazing, miraculous things, but also in hard, frustrating things as well. Despite Lazarus being dead for four days, Jesus called him out of the tomb and he got up anyway! That’s HUGE!
Yet because we live in the world we live in, sometimes Christians can doubt that God can move in all situations, or do miraculous things just like that today. When He in fact CAN! And He’s willing to so long as we BELIEVE Him! One of my pastors spoke on how Jesus brings up belief to the disciples and to Martha in regards to Lazarus in John 11…
“Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”Verses 14-15
“Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”Verses 23-27
“Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”Verses 38-40
I highly encourage you to read the John 11 passage about the raising of Lazarus, but it’s so important how often Jesus speaks on believing. If the disciples and Mary and Martha needed to be reminded that much back then, we definitely need to be reminded now!
And those of us who are Christians, we ourselves are testimonies of His Goodness, Faithfulness, and Redemption — before we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we were dead in our sins…someone else in our lives may have seen us and thought that we were “a lost cause” or “unredeemable.” BUT GOD! 🙌🏽🙏🏽 He saved us, and maybe caused those who doubted He could or would to do a double take!
Of course, I’m not saying that if we simply believe, we’ll get the outcomes we want. Sometimes things may get harder before they get better, and sometimes, things may never go back to the way they were, but if that is so, then it is a part of God’s plan to show us something that we need more of, whether it’s belief or love or trust or peace or whatever lesson He is trying to teach us.
Please don’t read that I’m saying God creates hard things for us to go through; it is the result of the Fall and our fallen nature that we go through difficult things. But God allows us to go through them so that we can learn to lean on Him.
I pray that this post encourages you (as it is encouraging me) to not be so quick to place a “hopeless” or “unredeemable” sticker on situations before we bring them to our Father in Heaven, and ask Him for His will to be done, and to BELIEVE that He is capable of moving in those circumstances! 🙌🏽
Check yourself today: where is your belief meter at right now? How can you remind yourself that God is all–powerful, all-knowing, and completely capable of handling ANY AND EVERY situation life throws at you? What are some things you’ve noticed that you’ve placed an “unredeemable” sticker on?