Monday, April 22, 2013

The Lazarus Experiment - Day Twenty-One

Your worst day with Jesus is better than your best day without him, and your worst day alive is better than your best day dead.

Lazarus gained a working heart, a functioning brain, and five or more senses that worked when Jesus re-issued his permission to live. But he also gained one amazing view - the panoramic vista of abundant life.

Do you have a picture in your mind of a scene that changed your life completely?

I have several burned into my memory. The first time I saw the Grand Canyon as an adult. Looking out from the Capital Building in Washington D.C. at the space between there and the Washington Monument filled with hundreds of thousands of men. Holding my daughter, April, in my hands on the day she was born. The breathtaking sight of my wife, Linda, coming around the corner of the doorway on the arm of her father on our wedding day. To say these moments were life-changing reduces them to a cliche. They leveled me, and I have never recuperated.

They also have framed my life and my perspective. Every moment of my life is cast with the color of these scenes, like lights on a stage play.

Now, translate all that to Lazarus and the bandages removed, the eyes open. He would never forget. And everything else is sawdust.

We here at TLE 2013 have already seen this perspective alive and active in the hearts of our participants. Lissa and Kimberly have shared their Lazzie perspectives. And Debora is right now going through what is without question one of the worst possible experiences life could throw at you.

And there are others, some whose stuff we know, and many whose stuff we will never know, but they're hanging on to this central truth - I have today, and I have Jesus, and that is enough.


Debora used these words: "living in the now." Now can be brutal. But you have Grand Canyon eyes. You have new baby eyes. You have wedding bliss eyes.


The rest? Sawdust.

Suggested Scripture For Today: Psalm 116

Suggested Ideas:
When the ebb and flow of your day brings you to the lowest point, stop and be Lazarus in that moment. Tell us about it.
Share some of your life-changing moments with someone who's never heard them before.
Write a thank-you note to Jesus for the life-altering Lazarus perspective.
Dance with someone you love. Or a stranger.

Question of the Day: Do you think Lazarus outlived Mary? Martha? If he did, how would he have experienced the death of someone he dearly loved? How would his experience with Jesus re-frame his outlook on loss, death, and grief?

Do something outrageously loving tomorrow!


Talked about my mom's passing with a darling young lady who has had a terribly tragic life with her own mom.  She asked me how I can believe in a God who has let such didficult things come to pass in my life after hearing my story.  I told her that it wasn't about the difficulty of the things that have transpired as much as it is the lessons I was able to learn and the things I was able to accomplish in spite of having been knocked down time and time again.  The beauty of my mom's story is that it was the full circle of God's love for me, bringing me back home to a complete understanding of His love and living with Him as my very best friend.

The conversation was hard.  Tough to really say and experience with someone who was searching for a  reason to continue believing.  Fortunately she has a pretty good foundation and a pretty strong faith but like most young people who have suffered some of life's harsh realities, she is struggling to hold on.  I feel very blessed to have been received well and to have been taken seriously enough to have made a difference.

Indeed God puts us in the right place at the right time - what wisdom!

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