I lost my mum to cancer recently. At the funeral, I likened her to a rose – known for its beauty, fragrance and resilience – because she kept blooming and getting better rather than bitter, despite all the challenges and trials that were her life. BUT, I am thankful for the extra 15 years we had, after her massive stroke in 2001 – she should have died. At the time, I felt like I’d it gotten her back from the dead, just like Lazarus. Why is it that we so often need a crisis to remind us that it is the people we love that matter most, not the many trivial things that clutter up our lives.
When Jesus came to the funeral of His friend Lazarus, he had been dead 4 days. The sisters came up to Jesus, crying and confused. “If you had been here sooner, our brother would not have died.” Jesus knew what He was going to do, yet it says, “JESUS WEPT.” Why?
I would like to suggest two things for us to consider
Firstly, because death seems so final, we all feel helpless and grief stricken when the person we love is gone. Jesus understands that pain, and so He speaks HOPE into the situation when He says, “I am the resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, yet shall he live. Whoever believes in Me shall never die.” Only a few weeks later, Jesus died on a cross to take away the sins of the world, and then rose again, to show everyone that this life is not the end of the story. Jesus brings HOPE into a world where death is certain, and the loss of loved ones seems so permanent. My Mum believed, and I look forward to seeing her again one day.
Secondly, because death will come to us all, we should not take the people who matter most for granted. I wonder whether the sisters had regrets– a disagreement, a rash word, or a hurt that had not been resolved – about their relationship with Lazarus. Jesus gave Lazarus back to them, but we cannot count on second chances. I am certain that FORGIVENESS and RECONCILIATION came up when Lazarus and his sisters talked. They had an opportunity to talk about some things they’d foolishly put off, and so did I when my mum survived her stroke.
The time we have is limited and we don’t know when it will be up. We need to do and say the things that we know are needed, while we still have time. Have you made your peace with the people in your life that matter most to you – especially if you are really angry with them? Have you made your peace with the Lord, who came to save sinners like you and me?
Don’t wait for a crisis, to get your priorities right, because you may be too late.Mark Trodd[email protected]