Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Lazarus Experiment Day 10

For most of us, the Lazarus account is a very profound analogy of our new lives in Christ Jesus. Hardly any of us have really been brought back to life after four days of being dead. (If you have, I'd like to come and talk to you!)
I know I haven't. So I can only begin to imagine Lazarus' reactions and emotions. How did he feel when he heard his name? What was his reaction to being loosed from the strips of cloth that held him tight? And this question keeps coming to me: What happened when those who were tending to Lazarus finally began to unwrap his his neck, his head, his mouth, his eyes.
That moment right there.
The moment when the final wrap, perhaps with some padding, was undone from around his head, and his eyelids fluttered, and his pupils went ballistic at the daylight, and the blur of morbid sight cleared, and his eyes adjusted to life, and . . .
Eye to eye. Face to face. Jesus staring right into his brain, into his heart, into the core of him--now alive. Is that a smile on Jesus' face? Are those tears streaking his cheeks? Is that forgiveness in his features? Is that love--right there--in his eyes?
If Jesus had brought Lazarus out of the grave and then left before the rags were removed, I think Lazarus would have been changed. He would have lived differently, and would have made the most out of his second-chance life.
But I think Lazarus was changed more by that one look than anything else that happened to him that day.
That look is powerful. Why do you think so many gospel songs talk about seeing Jesus? Having him look into our eyes. Telling us to look into his?
Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in his wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of his glory and grace.
It's a nice analogy. But I think it's more than that.
We have spiritual eyes that allow us to see him. And that sight can change us forever.
Whatever this Experiment does--whatever changes you make, habits you start, alterations in attitude that result--the one thing that supersedes all else is seeing Jesus.
If it does anything, I want it to reacquaint me to that moment. I was blind, but now I see. I was in a pit, and he rescued me. I was poor and helpless and wounded and dead, and he called my name and brought me out. And I have looked him in the eyes, and I can never be the same.
Everything we do as a part of this exercise springs from that moment. What difference will it make to you?
Suggested Scripture For Today: Revelation 22:1-5 (Ask yourself - what does this picture remind you of?)
Suggested Ideas:
1. If Jesus were your sibling, or husband/wife, or very close friend, and he wasn't with us physically, we'd probably write him a letter, and part of the letter would include telling him how much we would love to see him in person. Write that letter.
2. Spend ten minutes with your eyes closed and imagine being Lazarus and opening your eyes to the wonder of Jesus' gaze. How would that change you? What would be different?
3. Someone helped get Lazarus out of the rags and into the presence of Jesus. Someone helped you, too, to see Jesus clearly. Have you thanked them lately?
4. If you're artistic (and even if you're not), can you draw a picture, or take a photo, or write a poem, or a song, describing and illustrating looking into the eyes of Jesus? If you do, POST IT SO WE CAN SEE IT!
We are 25% into this thing! Don't get discouraged - you're doing great. Keep up your spirits, look to Jesus, and tell us about what's going on. The best way to get the most benefit from this endeavor is to interact with each other online. Don't worry about missing some days, just jump in when you can. AND TOMORROW IS CRAZY PICTURE DAY! HAVE YOU PICKED OUT YOUR PICTURE?

My Day 10 response:

Day 10 - I did what Ron suggested and sketched the first time Jesus revealed himself to me but it's so flat. It can't come close to glory of Him. I looked long and hard at the various times He has come to me and the circumstances, the differences in the revelations, the people who came with him. Each time He has come to me it has been at a crossroads. It was a time when things could potentially go very bad or had gone very bad (in earthly terms). It was always a time where I had to just trust.... to just let go and keep the faith no matter how heartbroken I was. the first time I was 14 and had just escaped being molested for 5 years. (*coincidentally, I was having my first vision of the most beautiful thing I have ever seen at the same time my darling husband was being born... how's that for God writing your story?!!) I was with several other people and all of us were wrestling with some life changing moments that would determine a lot in our futures. One of us was struggling with sexuality. One of us was struggling with his place in his family, and there were more stories. There were 6 of us in all. He came to us when we needed him most to show us His love and comfort - and help us renew and keep our faith.
He has come to me, surrounded me with such joy, such love, such comfort that I have come to be hopeful that He will come to me more often but I sure don't want to "wear out my welcome". And I REALLY don't want to keep experiencing these moments in my life where my heart takes another hit.
So I drew my picture of the magnificent Lord... but it pales so much in comparison with His true glory that I just put it in my prayer journal... A reminder of the first time when I was just a little girl and a reminder of this day, when I chose to compare and contrast all the times I have been graced by His presence and I learned two really big things.
1) I have had my fair share of trauma and I really could use a break but for whatever reason, I know I'm being prepared for something...
2) Each time, it's been following a trauma and it has made my faith even stronger. I'm firmly rooted and I know that - an unshakeable foundation but these visits, these amazing reveals that I've been blessed to see, have cemented my feet firmly in Christ. His Glory and Magnificence are huge and I feel the need to honor Him by my life and living the way He would want me to, being the person He would want me to, being the mother, daughter, sister and friend He would want me to. I want to live in the Glorious place. I want to know it in my eternity and it fuels me to do better and better.
That being said it makes me quite a basket case when I falter. It brings on self deprecation that is my giant. I've hit that giant so many times with that same old Rock..... and yet I know I've never used the one rock that would truly slay it.... I've never once said, NO! In Jesus' name I will NOT do that to myself. I have no idea what's holding me back.

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