“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” – Jn. 11:25-26
In today’s Gospel, the raising of Lazarus illuminates how we can all truly experience a spiritual renewal through God’s mercy. It brings into the light where we stand in our faith and belief in the restlessness for our own resurrection. I imagine Jesus standing in front of me saying, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” In the depths of my own fears and doubts, would I respond with conviction like Martha? Would I brave myself to say yes to Him?
Sometimes what looks like the end might just be the beginning. There is always hope. I am coming to believe there are a handful of transformative passages in our lives. When I look back on my life, I see how a new season eventually emerges if given enough time, tenderness, and love. Even a withered and lifeless tree can bloom. Spring might be around the corner, but there is no fast forwarding through the fall and winter. The cross must come before the resurrection, and it can be long and excruciating. And unless I bear witness to the truth, face it head on, and gut my heart open to the pain, I will not bear witness to the miracle God entrusted with me.
I am slowly learning how to stand where I am and remain open to God’s invitation – willing, hopeful, and trusting in the wait and uncertainty. Similar to riding a bicycle, when I feel myself falling, leaning into it rather than away will lessen the tension and move me to land more gently. I do not have to try to escape from my suffering or cover it up, but I can come to greater acceptance and give God the permission to transform my life, release my suffering, and bring me home.
Lord, help me to lean into You and fall deeply towards a love beyond my own comfort.