Jesus was a stone roller. He did the impossible. He brought dead things back to life. He rolled the stone back from his own grave to rise up.
And never forget, HE IS STILL A STONE ROLLER TODAY!
He never stopped rolling stones and bringing dead things back to life. He never stopped reaching down, calling out and raising up.
And can’t you see, that’s what he’s doing today. He’s preparing to roll some stones. Yes, stones in your life. Impossible in your life. Things that are dying right now in your life, drying up and ceasing to produce … they will be brought back to life. You may be down right now, but sister it’s time to rise up!
John 11 tells us the story of Jesus’ dear friend Lazarus getting sick. Jesus loved this man dearly and cared for him greatly. But check this out, in verse 6 it says “So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and THEN he said to his disciples, “Let us go.”
Wait … what? Jesus knew he was sick and because he loved him so much he waited two days, then he went? And during this time while Jesus was waiting, Lazarus actually died. It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t know, he knew. It wasn’t that he couldn’t go earlier, he waited. He waited because he loved him. He let things get worse because he cared.
My human mind doesn’t quite understand this. If I could save a loved one from suffering, I would do it immediately. No one could stop me from going. Nothing could delay me from being there.
In fact, if I could snap my fingers and make our current circumstances change, I would. I would bring back every job. I would send home every nurse and doctor to be with their families because not one person would be sick. I would fill the streets with celebrations and unlimited hugging and dancing. Free tacos for everyone!
That’s what I would do. And I would do it today with no delay.
But God reminds me in Isaiah 55: 8-9 “(Pamela) your ways are not my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways.”
I would fix this whole mess in a hot minute if I could … that would be my way. But God’s ways are not my way, his are higher and better.
And so, here we are in the middle of it all. In the middle of the waiting. In the middle of the unfolding. In the middle of the mystery. And we trust. We trust that God is doing something here even while we can’t see it. We trust he will be right on time when the time is best and he will do what only he can do. Until then, things may get worse.
Lazarus’ family stood by his bed and watched him die. They buried him. It was too late and he was gone.
All while Jesus was waiting; waiting because he loved him; waiting because there was a plan and that plan had a timeline; things got worse.
We were never promised our faith in God would eliminate the “worse” in our lives. We were never offered an insulated safe place where life wouldn’t touch our reality. We were never told our journey would be easy or the path would be straight. No, in fact we were shown even for those Jesus personally loved while he walked this earth, THINGS GOT WORSE.
Now, Jesus is on the scene 4 days after Lazarus has died. The funeral was already over. His body is now in a tomb covered by a stone. Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha knew Jesus had the power to save Lazarus before he died, but now he shows up and they know it’s too late.
But stone rolling Jesus says, I’M RIGHT ON TIME.
Jesus always knew what he was doing. His delay was intentional because there were greater plans at work. The worst had to happen so the miracle could unfold and there would be no question of God’s great power.
So the stone was rolled away and Jesus says “Lazarus, come forth.”
Come out from where you have been. It’s time to rise up from here.
AND HE DID!
Why did Jesus wait? Why did he allow things to get worse? So all could see the power of being called to “come forth”. So there would be no doubt Jesus is exactly who he said he was, and God can do exactly what he said he can do.
Here we are in our delay. Wishing we could be spared of these hard times. Maybe we’ve even prayed this would all just go away so we could go back to our normal lives. But what if Jesus loves us so darn much, he just won’t let us go back to our normal lives because our lives had become normal in the wrong ways.
What if we were created for more than we had been living and the only way we would ever see that is for things to get worse first?
What if his intentions for our lives are to live at a higher level than we have been living and a few things have to be stripped for us to see that.
If you have been in a funk, now God is calling you to come forth. Come out from where you have been. Come breathe in life deeper than you ever have before. Appreciate things you once rushed by. See his fingerprints on everything.
If Jesus would have healed Lazarus at the first signs of his sickness, few would have talked about it. Even if Jesus would have shown up beside his bed and healed him while there was still life in his body, the miracle may have been quickly dismissed and life would have returned to normal. But because Jesus waited, because things got worse, because the worst actually did happen and Lazarus was dead and buried, we’re still impacted thousands of years later.
God is doing something big here my friends. Something big in your life. Something he doesn’t want you to miss. Something that will impact all the future days of your life and perhaps generations to come.
But first it may get worse. First it may feel like God is not answering. First it may feel completely out of control and hopeless. But he has a plan, and his plan is above our plan. His timing is perfect.
HE WILL ROLL YOUR STONE.
He will do the impossible for you.
He will call you to rise up. Rise up to a higher level of living, and don’t go back to the way things were before. Live better than you ever did.
While things may get worse this month in some ways, this is not our month to get worse. This is our month to rise up. This is our time to raise our thoughts. This our time to raise our expectations of ourselves. Yes, raise that bar! Level up girl. This is our time to show up with the best of us and let our faith be in action as we know stone rolling Jesus has a plan.
Look up child. Rise up girl. He’s still rolling stones.
(ohhhhhh, I’ve had me some Lauren Daigle songs on repeat!)