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Thursday, November 01, 2018

Next Day

Sometimes the preview of the future that we imagine God performing does end up getting answered according to the desires of our hearts. Mary was in tears with grief and disappointment when she said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." Her vision of Lazarus being healed by Jesus in the same way Jesus had healed the sick, the blind, the lame and the deaf had ended, rather, in tragedy. Lazarus was dead.

Yet Mary had great faith that Jesus had both the compassion and the power to make her dream a reality. God did not cure Lazarus. Instead, Jesus stood with Mary, deeply moved by her loss. Jesus, too, had tears of grief. God stays with us in the times of sorrow when life goes wrong. Don't be surprised if the Savior has a different scene to show in God's future.

Ever-loving God, I am grateful for the many times you stay close when I am feeling loss and despair. With your presence, I can begin again to see your provision and mercy. Forgive my doubts. Keep me always in the comfort of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Betsy Dartt, '81
Visitation Pastor, Our Savior's Lutheran, Spring Valley, Minn.

John 11:32-44 (NRSV)

32 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved.
34 He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see."
35 Jesus began to weep.
36 So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"
37 But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"
38 Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.
39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days."
40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, "Father, I thank you for having heard me.
42 I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me."
43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.