It’s been two years. Two years since my life was forever changed. Two years since I didn’t know if I was going to make it. Two years since my plans drastically changed. Two years since Taiwan.
My life has never been the same since July 2012, and the events surrounding then, still have an affect on my life each and every day. The past two years have been full of tears and of triumph, full of streams in the desert, and full of gushing joyful waters. I am not the same person I was two years ago, and I am forever thankful for that. As I have been reflecting over my experiences and the Lord’s steady hand of faithfulness revealed to me, I am reminded of His nearness and that I have been called to walk in a new life.
In John 11, Jesus’ friend, Lazarus, dies. Jesus could have kept Lazarus form dying, yet He didn’t. Instead, He said, “This sickness will not end in death but it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (v4) I can only imagine how saddened Jesus’ heart was when He received the news of his friend’s death because Jesus loved Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. When Jesus went to Bethany, the city where Lazarus died, He was met by Martha. Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die- ever.” Then Jesus asks her, “Do you believe this?” This struck me, when I was reading it. Lazarus was dead, Martha was heartbroken, and then Jesus asks her if she believes what He just told her. She had a choice, whether to believe Jesus, (not knowing what He was about to do) or to not believe Jesus because Lazarus was already dead. As I have been on this journey these past two years, I have had a choice daily, to believe Jesus or not to. Some days it’s easier than others. Beth Moore stated, “The most debilitating loss for a Christian is not the loss of a loved one but the loss of faith.” (122, Breaking Free) Loss of life does not mean loss of faith, and like Martha, that is something I have been having to work on daily, moment by moment believing God.
Martha, though, answers Jesus and says, “I believe You are the Messiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world.” Mary and Martha, as well as Jesus, seemed to be struck by grief. Over the past two years, I have experienced grief, yet grief is an invitation to believe God even more. Beth Moore also said, “Joy and effectiveness may seem to pause for a while as grief takes its course, but those who allow their broken hearts to be bound by Christ will experience them again.” I know that to be true. I have had grief abound and joy just barely trickle, but I am learning daily to experience that joy again. Christ has healed my grief stricken heart. (123)
Ultimately, Jesus goes to Lazarus’ tomb and shouts, “Lazarus, come out! The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him and let him go.'” Wow! Jesus truly is the Resurrection and the LIFE! Beth Moore goes on to say, “Perhaps the most profound miracle of all is living through something that we thought would kill us. And not just living, but living abundantly and effectively- raised from living death to a new life. A life indeed absent of something or someone dear but filled with the presence of the resurrection and the life.” I think that is beautiful. Living through something that should kill you is a miracle in and of itself, but being able to live abundantly and effectively is the most incredible part of it. I am still learning what that looks like, but because the Resurrection and the Life raised me from death into this new life, He is teaching me how to live (123)
Two years ago, my heart was gushing out blood; I felt as if it could never be healed. But friends, I am here to tell you that He DOES bind up the broken hearted. He placed His strong, gentle hands over my heart and stopped the bleeding. (123)
Even though, my heart was broken in a million pieces two years ago, my life is better today because of it. The Resurrection and the Life is daily teaching me what walking and living as a new person who has abundant life, looks like. Jesus truly is the Resurrection and the Life. Jesus truly is the Resurrection and the Life. Oh, He is.
He is near,