Lent Devotional Day 25

Day 25
Saturday, March 18

John 11:1-27

11 A certain man, Lazarus, was ill. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (2 This was the Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped his feet with her hair. Her brother Lazarus was ill.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, saying, “Lord, the one whom you love is ill.”

4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This illness isn’t fatal. It’s for the glory of God so that God’s Son can be glorified through it.” 5 Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. 6 When he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed where he was. After two days, 7 he said to his disciples, “Let’s return to Judea again.”
8 The disciples replied, “Rabbi, the Jewish opposition wants to stone you, but you want to go back?”

9 Jesus answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours in the day? Whoever walks in the day doesn’t stumble because they see the light of the world. 10 But whoever walks in the night does stumble because the light isn’t in them.”
11 He continued, “Our friend Lazarus is sleeping, but I am going in order to wake him up.”
12 The disciples said, “Lord, if he’s sleeping, he will get well.” 13 They thought Jesus meant that Lazarus was in a deep sleep, but Jesus had spoken about Lazarus’ death.

14 Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died. 15 For your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there so that you can believe. Let’s go to him.”
16 Then Thomas (the one called Didymus) said to the other disciples, “Let us go too so that we may die with Jesus.”

17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Bethany was a little less than two miles from Jerusalem. 19 Many Jews had come to comfort Martha and Mary after their brother’s death. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, while Mary remained in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. 22 Even now I know that whatever you ask God, God will give you.”

23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 She replied, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, God’s Son, the one who is coming into the world.”

I write this devotional days before my daughter Sarina turns 9. Those who know her find her to be beautiful, delightful and brilliant. What you may not know, however, is that she is a survivor of bullying. 

In 2019, Sarina entered kindergarten as an outgoing kid who never met a stranger. She was eager to make new friends, ride the bus, and learn new things. This excitement soon faded as a little boy in her class started teasing her, an act she didn't understand because she liked everyone and wanted them to be happy. His teasing eventually escalated into inappropriate touching and Sarina not wanting to return to school. 

As a mother, seeing my spunky little girl fading before my eyes was hard. Day after day, I assured her that she was safe and that I would take care of the situation. Eventually, disciplinary action was taken, Sarina started therapy and was moved to 1st grade half day where she excelled and was welcomed.

Now in 2023, Sarina is a well known student and leader in her school. I cannot walk the halls without hearing students say Sarina is so smart, she taught me how to read, she is really nice. She is no longer being touched inappropriately but is being showered with hugs from all: from the administration to the shy girl in Pre-K.

Sarina's journey reminds me of Jesus' decision to return to Judea. The disciples thought he was crazy to enter a place where people wanted to harm him. Jesus however knew that the work of God was bigger than the opinion of the naysayers. My friend, think about the naysayers in your life's journey. Have you given them the power to dim your light, your voice? God made each of us to show the world who He is so that He may be glorified. May you walk boldly each day shining His light, doing His work and glorifying Him so that others may be inspired to do the same.

By Tramaine Williams

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