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How then do we live? Week Two

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.

Psalm 131:1
How then do we live? Week Two Book Cover

Zooming in and out of a picture or story gives us different perspectives. When we zoom out of the story of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, we see the story that Jesus is living. The story of walking toward death for the sake of life.

As soon as Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, the plot to kill Jesus begins. Even as he is bringing resurrection and life back to this community, he is walking toward his death that will lead to resurrection and life for all people. What Jesus did in the life of one man, in a community in Bethany, he will do for the world.

our temptation

We live zoomed in on our stories. And when we have to wait, we are restless for what is to come. While we wait, we are all tempted.

Even Jesus was tempted (Luke 4:1–13). Our temptations can include making things happen out of sync with life and God’s timing, withdrawing and isolating as we turn in on ourselves and exclude others, or denying what is happening. Or maybe even more practical things such as: overeating or over drinking, bursts of anger, or lethargy with work that needs to be done. Sometimes our waiting will be for a few days and for other things a lifetime. Waiting is hard. But it does not have to be done alone. As with any temptation, the invitation from Jesus is to pour ourselves out to him, to know him more deeply, to wait in community, and to get any other help we need.

as we wait

Martha, Mary, and the community had to wait for the resurrection of Lazarus. The disciples and the women at the cross had to wait for the resurrection of Jesus. Life from death requires waiting. As we wait, we prepare for what we know, and we rest. Key word: rest.

When the women at the cross saw Jesus’s body taken down, they followed it to the tomb and watched how it was laid (Luke 23:50–55). Then they went back home and prepared ointments and spices for the body of Jesus. They stayed present with what they knew and prepared for what was to come. Then the women rested according to the commandment of the Sabbath (Luke 23:56).

The invitation that is extended to us is to rest. Rest from our worries, rest from solving the problems, rest from idle busyness that makes us feel better because at least there is some type of movement. Rest in the provision of Jesus, trusting that resurrection will come in its time.

what are you waiting for?

For some things, resurrection will come in this life. For other things, we will have to wait until the final resurrection when all things are made new and death is no longer. While we wait, we grieve, we rest, and we remain in the present while preparing for the future.

What are you waiting to see resurrected? Is it a marriage? A relationship? A loved one’s life? Maybe it is the spiritual life of another? Or maybe it is your own life?

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Daily Question

Write a prayer below, expressing honestly the situation, your hopes and dreams, and your thoughts toward God. Give him everything. Ask God to show you what is yours to do now while choosing to rest in him. Then speak this prayer out loud and consider sharing it with a trusted friend. Rest in God. Trust him. Pour yourself out to him. He is listening.

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Comments (25)

Dear Lord, Thank you for everything. You know how my hearts aches and you know my prayer request. I have been praying and fasting and got tired and stopped then started praying again. Dear God am only human and you know this. You created me. Show me your will so I know what decisions to take so I live a life that brings you honor and glory always. Amen. Help me Lord to know what to do in this waiting period and help me know what you will restore and what I need to let go of. Thank you Lord. Amen.

Dear Lord,
I fell at loose ends in life. Like I’m not really living as fully as I could. I want you to be the center of my life. Please show me what to do and give me the courage to do it. Thank you, dear Father. I love you.

Oh Lord. That my children would come back to you. That they would love you and serve you with their whole heart.
Lord I praise you for the healing you are doing I’m my body. I pray for the day I can get up and go about the day serving you without all the pain meds.
Thank you for your perfect timing. Help me to glorify you while I wait.

Dear God, first of all, I’m very grateful for everything I have right now and the many blessings you’ve given me. I am in a much better situation than most people, and that is truly such an amazing thing. During these times it is so easy to forget that and wish for something else. I am no exception to that either. I tend to focus on the negatives daily and I very easily get trapped in wanting things to change. I pray that you can help me to overcome that and become more grateful. That being said, however, I do also pray for things to get better soon. Times are still difficult right now, no matter the situation you’re in. I want to be able to go out, see my friends, not be confined by this virus. Yes, I’m aware others around me are worse off than I am, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still ask for corona to go away. It’s hard being at home alone all the time. I trust that you will make the best of this, though, and get me through it. I would also like to pray for mental healing. Everything going on has been rough on my mental health. My urges and depression and anxiety have all gotten worse. It’s hard. Please help me get better soon. I love you. In your name we pray, Amen.

Dear Lord. First, I am so grateful with where you’ve brought me in my life. I honestly cant even put into words how much hope and life I have now. I remember praying for the husband I am starting to see now and I am overwhelmed with gratitude. You truly do make all things new. With that being said You know my thoughts and concerns. You know how much I want my husband to experience life again without pain. I want complete healing in his ankle. I dream of hiking adventures with him in your beautiful landscape! Of walks together in the neighborhood or by the river. The simple things in life that make life so wonderful. Nevertheless, I choose to trust you in the waiting. I choose to encourage my husband to trust you as well. I commit to studying your Word with my husband so we can put our focus on you. I trust that good will come out of this. I love you

Dear Lord, this week we learned about your delay in answering prayers, so we can let our true colors show and see them, and so that you can show us your true color. And we learned that you deal differently with each one of us and you are ALL in with us wherever we are.

Lord, we are waiting, just like Martha and Mary waiting for your healing of Lazarus, like the women waiting to give you a burial, like us waiting for your return. I am waiting for the Holy Spirit to take control of me fully so that I may live a life free of sins and live as what I say I believe.

While in such waiting, I ask that you give me the power of welcoming the disappointments to come and the power of sending them away like the wind. And I ask that you cleanse me through this coming and going. I pray that with each coming and going, you grow me a bit talker, a bit deeper, and may one day I wake up and are fully in the Spirit in all things.

Oh Lord, you know that right now is such a strange time. A year ago, I was longing to be in a different stage, to turn the page… and boy, it’s different now. I’m grateful that my husband is still working, although we have way less to live on than we did before. I have the time that craved, the time to do other things. Now I find myself confused. The life I had is gone… no job, new place, still wondering what is my "thing" now? What am I supposed to do with this gift of time? where do I go from here? The desires you put in my heart, for creative outlet, for time with you, for a meaningful career… I pray that you put these things together in some beautiful arrangement. I’m waiting on you and I hope I’m not knocking on all the wrong doors, or failing to recognize something you’ve put before me. Please, make me sensitive to whatever is the next right thing. I want to serve you and do it with all that I am.

God, thank you for putting the hopes and dreams in my heart that I thought impossible or too late. You have taught me to be patient, listen, and wait. I still struggle from time to time with wanting to control the situation and the outcome. However, I am reminded by my faith that I am right where I am supposed to be in your plan, our journey together, and my dreams. You have shown me what I need to do while I wait and with uncertainty as to my success. I do ask that you continue to show me the next step even when I’m anxious for confirmation of the outcome and that I continue to fall back to the things you have already shown me or done for me innfaith as verification of what only you can truly be capable of providing. Amen.

Father God, you know the desire of my heart to be a mother. You know the hopes I have for raising a family. Lord, I trust you with this dream. I trust your timing. Your word shows me how many times you gave children to women who didn’t believe they could have them. You are the same God then, now, and tomorrow. Please, Father, I ask that you fulfill this desire. And I ask that you give me peace, knowing that you have a perfect plan and purpose for my life. I take rest in your faithfulness and trust you with this request. Thank you Lord for intimately knowing my heart. Amen.

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