Tuesday, February 15, 2011


On my walk yesterday, the Lord pointed me to the 11th chapter of John and last night I finally got a chance to sit down and see what He had for me there. Lazarus. I’ve read the account dozens of times, but never as a woman with cancer.

Mary and Martha, Lazarus’s sisters, were friends with Jesus, and when their brother took sick, they immediately sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard the news, 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.
(This was the only Scripture verse about healing I knew by heart and in those first days after my diagnosis, I repeated this over and over again.)

But interestingly enough, Jesus does not make a mad dash to Bethany to get to Lazarus. He waits 2 days. And then, when his disciples question him, Jesus admits that he already knows Lazarus is dead. “For your sakes,” Jesus tells his disciples, “I am glad I was not there so that you may believe.”

Jesus must have procrastinated even more getting to Bethany because we know that Lazarus had been entombed for 4 days when He arrived. The first thing out of Martha’s mouth was, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (I can relate: Lord, if you had been here, my tumors would have shrunk. If you had been here, my cancer counts would be lower. If you had been here, I would not have a new spot on the lung. Oh, yes, I know Martha’s heart here.)

When Mary reaches Jesus, she repeats Martha’s lament, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Jesus went to the tomb and commanded the stone be moved away. Martha is concerned about the odor after 4 days of a dead body in the cave. And Jesus says to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” In a loud voice Jesus tells Lazarus to come out of the tomb, and he does, grave clothes hanging on him.

I received two pearls from the Lord last night through the timeless story of Lazarus. One, JESUS LET THE SITUATION GET MUCH WORSE BEFORE IT GOT BETTER. HE DELAYED HEALING. He did not run to Mary and Martha the instant they called on Him to help. No, he let his friend die and then he lollygagged for 4 days before arriving. Why? He wanted all of them, Mary, Martha, other family, disciples, to believe in His healing ability, even in the face of the worst case scenario…..death. He says he was glad he wasn’t there to handle the situation early on, SO THAT THEY WOULD BELIEVE.

From an earthly point of view, He let the situation GET WORSE!! Hmmm.

Secondly, Jesus is concerned about God getting the glory for the healing. When he first gets word, he already knows that He is going to heal Lazarus, but He wants God to get the glory. He wants people to see God’s power and majesty. IF YOU BELIEVED IN MY HEALING YOU WOULD SEE THE GLORY OF GOD. If Lazarus had not died and been dead for 4 days…..if Jesus had just come when he was sick…..people might have assumed some medicinal herb cured him. I’M GLAD I WASN’T THERE SO THAT YOU WOULD BELIEVE IT WAS ME WHO DID THE HEALING. But for him to be dead 4 days and raised to life, people would be forced to acknowledge God’s glory and majesty in the healing.

Jesus let the situation get worse, and then He blew everyone away with His healing power. He left no doubters standing around that tomb. They saw healing power great enough to raise the dead. Healing power that is unchanged from then to today. Healing power enough to eradicate lung cancer.

Thank you Lord. Thank you for leading me to John 11. What looks to be a bad report is a means to You getting more of the glory in the end. I stand in hope and faith.


Pipsylou said...

LOVE IT. Love, love, love it. I was thinking that same thing a few days ago. God LOVES to come through at the last minute. I really do wonder why that is...it's almost like He has a flair for the dramatic just like we humans do.

I guess we ARE made in his image!

Love this so much I'm going to have to read it again. I am going to read that passage.

Cole said...

Mary, oh my goodness!!! I was going through a loss in the last week and I was led to this same passage, but I knew the healing was not for my Grandpa...I only thought of you! I've actually been meaning to e-mail you about this, but I guess God's leading took you to it already. Praise God for His faithfulness and His constant guidance to more wisdom.

Healing is coming, Mary. I can feel it. I'm still sending a constant stream of prayers that your life may glorify Him and His healing power.

Allison said...

Mary, you are such an encouragement to me! I believe that God (who created everything in this universe!!!) can easily heal you from this cancer! I see you leaning on God and letting Him carry this burden for you. I see you passionate about the things He wants to teach and show you. I am amazed at your strength-you are brave! Thank you for sharing your heart and journey....I will be praying!

Allison said...

Another thought....I'm working on memorizing this verse because half the time I feel I am in a battle over my mind...

"The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:6

I don't know if this will help you at all, but when I start to freak out or listen to the lies of the devil I try to say this and ask for help in focusing my mind on Him.