Suffering has been a popular topic with my friends and family for the last few weeks. So today I’m posting one of the most popular posts on suffering from God Running. From the archives . . . Continue reading
It’s 1:34 AM on Saturday as I write this blog post without my usual beta reader and better half Kathy. We traveled from Portland to Lakeland, Florida on Tuesday for business reasons and our flight made for a long day. We spent so much time on airplanes I remember a moment when Kathy, looking up from our seats in coach toward the big seats in front, said, “We’re going to sit in first class someday.” I just laughed. (If you knew anything about our budget, you’d laugh too.)
During the drive from the Tampa airport to our hotel I remember seeing a billboard along U.S. Highway 98 that said, “Lakeland Regional Health Joins Mayo Clinic.” When I read that, I thought to myself, “That’s impressive.” I’m a fan of the Mayo Clinic. Continue reading
The following blog post was written by my wife Kathy. I thought about putting it under the category: Things You Should Know About The Author Of This Blog, with the subtitle: My Wife Is A Better Person Than I Am. Because she really is. Kathy is truly amazing. Most recently I’m reminded of this fact as I watch the way she Continue reading
Last Tuesday, in Oklahoma City, a car crossed the centerline and collided head on with the vehicle of Ingrid Williams, the wife of Monty Williams, an assistant coach for the OKC Thunder and former head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans. Monty’s wife was killed in the crash. They have five children.
Last night on TNT’s NBA halftime show, rather than talk about hoops they aired this video of “what Monty Williams had to say in the wake of unspeakable tragedy.”
A Prayer for the Right Use of Sickness by Blaise Pascal, Pensees
“His name was William James Sidis, and his IQ was estimated at between 250 and 300. At eighteen months he could read The New York Times, at two he taught himself Latin, at three he learned Greek. By the time he was an adult…
I recently read about a gym where actors go to get in shape for movie roles. Continue reading
So last post we saw my friend Mike’s miracle: how he had a heart attack but was healed. It really was remarkable the way things turned out. But when you read that post, you may have said in your head, “Yes, that’s great that your friend Mike was healed. But what about Christians who aren’t healed? What about Christians who have a thousand people praying for them, but then they die anyway?” Continue reading
Why Did Lazarus Have To Die?
I’ve been reading Eric Metaxas’s Miracles again and there’s a section where he addresses the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. And Metaxas really made me think. Why did Lazarus have to die anyway? Why did Lazarus have to endure the suffering? Why was it necessary for his family to mourn? I mean, Jesus could have shown up earlier and healed him as he did for so many. But he didn’t. So Lazarus suffered–and died.
By the time Jesus got there his sisters and his friends were weeping. And in answer to anyone who would say that God is some sort of impersonal metaphysical force, Jesus, God incarnate, was overcome with grief himself. And he wept for his friend, and for his friend’s family, and for his friend’s friends. Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, had been dead for four days. Four days. That’s significant because there was this idea in Jewish culture at the time, that when a person died their spirit hung around for three days. And here we find Lazarus dead beyond that time period. In fact when Jesus directed the men to remove the stone that sealed the tomb, Lazarus’s sister Martha protested.
“Hang on, he’s been dead for four days. He’s been decomposing,” she said, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench.”
But Jesus went ahead with it anyway.
He prayed out loud, not so God could hear him, but for the benefit of the people there.
And Lazarus walked out of that tomb.
And here’s where I have to ask: Why? Why was that necessary? Why did Lazarus and the people who loved him have to suffer that way? Why couldn’t Jesus have just healed him?
And the answer is found when we ask the question: Continue reading