Whom have you raised from the dead? Whom have you loved back to life?
When humanity had the privilege of the presence of Jesus Christ on earth, the people of the time witnessed many miracles: sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, mobility to the paralyzed, life from death. Jesus literally restored Lazarus to life even though he had been in the tomb for four days. But before this marvelous moment took place, Jesus tried to console Martha and Mary who were grieving the loss of their brother and regretting Jesus had not been there to prevent it. “But even now I know that whatever you ask of God He will give you” (John 11: 23).
The true source of this miracle comes in Jesus revealing that He is the resurrection and the life: “I am the resurrection” (John 11: 25). And the most poignant moment in the whole story is easily overlooked given the weight of the conversation and the startling return from the dead. The three most beautiful words of Scripture are found here: “And Jesus wept” (John: 11: 36). How generous and vulnerable Jesus is at the death of His friend.
Whom have you raised from the dead? Whom have you loved back to life? We often wish we had the ability to raise people from the dead or restore them to life. When someone we love is seriously ill, we pray for a miracle. We pray fervently and we pray hard. If our prayers are not answered, we tend to think that we did not pray hard enough or did not have enough faith. Neither is true. Nor is it true that God needed this person in heaven. He didn’t!
Our prayer is not an exercise in persuasion to change God’s perspective into ours. Our prayer is an exercise in faith and trust. In prayer we entrust our loved one to the Lord. The true miracle may take place in their spirit, not in their body.
But the question still remains: Whom have you raised from the dead? Whom have you loved back to life? This can be very challenging especially when we are trying to love someone who is caught in the vicious circle of addiction. It requires perseverance and wisdom that can only come from God. This can also be very simple when we do acts of kindness and thoughtfulness, when we call someone who is lonely and offer words of praise and prayer.
Whom will you raise from the dead? Whom will you love back to life?
Rev. James M. McNamara