Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Lazarus Experiment - Day Twelve

“I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease." Yann Martel, Life of Pi.What are you afraid of?

Whatever it is that brings me fear has a finger on the control switch of my life.
Whatever causes us to be afraid has power over us.

Awareness came to Lazarus, I think, in waves--like the strips of graveclothes being removed. The dawning of resurrection, that he was alive, followed the reinvigoration of his senses; touch first, then hearing, then smell, taste, sight. He came out of the fog in his brain, memories popping back into place, a lifetime of learning reestablishing the library of his intellect.

Put yourself in Laz's place, and imagine the process of coming back to life. Step by step, you emerge from the tomb on Jesus' command. Step by step you regain the elements of life - your breath, your heartbeat, your mind, your heart, your fears.

What about those? What would Lazarus do once he came to full awareness and remembered? All at once, his situation, his illness, his wound, his death -- all that came rushing into his re-collection. Including the fear. I should be afraid . . . Shouldn't I?

All the things that Lazarus had ever feared waited on the edges of his consciousness for his permission to enter and reclaim the power they once had. Just waiting. Just over there. All he had to do was say, "Come."

We're not told what Jesus' first words to Lazarus were. Maybe he said, "Welcome back, friend," or maybe Jesus just whispered Lazarus' name in his new-claimed ear. Someday maybe we can ask Lazarus what it was Jesus said.

But I've got a guess. I think I know what Jesus would say to me, if he raised me from the dead. I think I know what I would want him to say, if I had been dead four days and then was alive again. I would want Jesus to look at me, right in the eyes, and speak.

"Ron, you don't need to be afraid anymore."

And if Jesus spoke those words to Lazarus, what would be the proof that the words were true?

Life. New life. Life after death.

Look - once "death has been swallowed up in victory," is there anything to fear? If Enemy Number One has been put down, what else is there to be afraid of? All the fears of all of life from infancy to death are like so many dominoes, lined up across the landscape of our histories. And when Jesus screams, "Come out!" at the mouth of the tomb, all the dominoes fall down, impotent and powerless.

At some point, Lazarus faced a choice: open the gate to all those Big Scary Things waiting impatiently to rush in and take control again of his life, or believe that what had just happened to him was the new reality, and allow Jesus to have the control instead.

If you've found new life in Jesus Christ, there is nothing to fear. You have a choice.

Listen. You have no reason to be afraid anymore.

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Suggested Scripture For Today: Psalm 27

Suggested Ideas:
Make a list of things that you will be happy to not fear anymore when you're in heaven. Then identify which of those fears are worthy of your concern since you have new life in Jesus.
Do something that makes you scared. Public speaking, holding a spider, riding a roller coaster, what?
On a deck of playing cards, write with a permanent marker your fears. As you write on each card, stack it up. When it's high - take a picture to post. Then smack it all down, just as if Jesus was in the room.
Fill in the blank: If I wasn't afraid of anything, I would feel great about taking a risk to ____________________ . Then go do it.

Question of the Day: Where was Lazarus when Jesus was tried and executed?

It is so cool to be learning about each of you, getting to know other people around the world. As you can see, The Lazarus Experiment has assisted in making some close lifetime friendships! Be sure and interact with all of us online, and you'll make some Laz-buddies for eternity.

I really appreciate your being here,

Oh my this is so huge for me... I have fears - who doesn't.  But wow this was huge and took me some time to think it through.

Day Twelve:

This is awesome! I have struggled a little today with my fears. I'm not sure that my fears (other than the whole "dont want to disappoint anyone" fear or my "please don't make me go to a social event without anyone I know because I'll turn into a wall flower" problem) are rational enough for this. This definitely will cover the two mentioned above but my other fear is deeply seated in a nearly catastrophic event that happened the same year I saw Jesus for the first time - within days of it actually and now that I think about it, I'm CERTAIN that was no coincidence.

When I was 14 I was at an amazing summer camp for two weeks called Nature Camp. It was an awesome learning adventure where you study nature sciences like Limnology, Herpetology, Botany, Ornithology, Ecology, Nature Art, Wilderness Survival and more. On one of the hikes (the Geology hike to be exact) we were scaling the side of a cliff to traverse into a cave that had an interior cave trail to another cave higher up on the cliff. We then had to exit the cave and climb the face of the cliff to the third cave. All without ropes. I entered the first cave without incidence. I traveled with the group leader (one of them) into the second cave and was exiting on the face of the cliff to climb to the third. I was, up until this point fearless of these types activities. I just loved nature and being in it and doing things in it. this was giving me a tremendous view of the South River and it was just exceptional.

As I exited the second cave, the class instructor and second leader was just about to enter the first cave from the cliff face. I noticed them and didn't want to scrap rocks into their paths so I was trying to be cautious about my footing. I thought I had found a stronghold but the rock that I climbed out on had been worked loose by so many passing in front of me and gave way and down I went.

yes - I was falling down the face of a cliff to what lay at the bottom - nothing but jagged and jutting boulders.

I was going to die and I knew it.

Out of nowhere a hand - a very large hand - grabbed my wrist and held me tight. I slammed into the face of the cliff, scraping and cutting my face, arms and legs, knocking the wind out of my lungs but I was somehow dangling in mid air.

That's when I noticed Lars had caught me by my wrist as he was half in the cave being held onto by others so he wouldn't lose his grip on me and we both went down.

Indeed God is SO VERY GOOD!

There is no reason what so ever Lars should have even made it that far into the cave to have gotten a foot hold, or others to help. there is no reason he should have even seen me. (Unless that rock that broke free hit him or anyone else which they said it had not.) There is no reason he was able to catch me as I was falling through the air. It was NOT LOGICAL!

Needless to say, I did NOT continue climbing and neither did he. He held me, a scared and inconsolable girl of 14 who should be dead were it not for an angel. I knew it was an angel. It had to be! There just wasn't any way possible for this to have had a happy ending. And yet, it did...

Three days later I saw Jesus for the first time. I know in my heart - NOW - that it was God letting me know "He's Got This".

I've been placing my faith in His hand ever since. It doesn't mean bad things or dificult things or sad things or things that brought me to the edge of my sanity haven't happened. It doesn't mean that I haven't had trials that caused me to think I could handle things on my own and had to accept my lot as a result.

It does mean that no matter what, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I have big things to accomplish, Faith to share, His word to bring to others and a lifelong ride on a bus that ONLY God can drive, only God knows my stopping places, only God can get me there. I have to remind myself sometimes that I do have fear but I have to allow Him to handle it for me. it doesn't mean I have no reactions to it because I do... I still can't drive through the mountains even though the mountains are my absolute favorite place to be without having to pray the whole way through. (I seriously pray all the way through a mountain pass or down a mountain road because otherwise I'd never make it...) My backbone turns to jello... my legs turn to mush...I begin to hyperventilate, my heart begins to palpitate, I begin to perspire... Same thing on bridges - particularly those unmercifully high ones with the drawbridge in the middle. Gad it's hard to handle...

But I let God do the driving and little by little I make my way to the other side.

Little by little I know God is going to get me to the other side.

Tonight I'm reminding myself to not be afraid. I will say extra prayers for anyone dealing with irrational fears like heights, bugs (from which I also suffer as a result of being tormented with locusts as a young girl), spiders, the dark, or anything else. I will pray that God will watch over all of us who suffer fear in our lives for any reason to continue to hold us up, to reassure us that He indeed has "got this" and that we can surrender everything to Him and just allow Him to get us to the other side.

With God all things are possible...... Tonight I will give extra rations to my faith and hopefully beging starving everyone's fear!!!

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