Oh, Lazarus- (Part 3/5)

7 Jun

“Do you think we should name the baby?” he asked me.

“Yeah. I think we should.”

“What do you want to name it?”

“I’m not sure. But, when the right name comes, we will know.”

 

A few weeks later, I was reading an article about “The Lazarus Effect”. About how we pray for things, and God answers differently than we want, so we assume He didn’t answer at all.

For the next few days, the story of Lazarus spun in my head. I couldn’t help the thoughts.

Lord, you raised a man from the dead! Why couldn’t you fix my baby?! 

As the thoughts continued to come, so did the prompting: Read the story again.

But, God, I know the story. Lazarus was sick, Jesus didn’t make on time, Lazarus died,  and Jesus raised him.

Read the story again.

Fine. But I already know what happens.

I picked up my computer and went to the scripture.

I started to read.

John 11:1

Now a certain man named Lazarus was ill. He was of Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived.

I kept reading. Lazarus’ sisters send a message to Jesus.

John 11:4

When Jesus received the message, He said,” This sickness is not to end in death; but  it is to honor God and to promote His glory, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Seriously, God. I think this is stupid. I’m not ready to read this yet. What is Your point?

Keep reading. 

I stumbled through some more text, feeling frustrated.

John 11:6

Therefore, even when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He still stayed two days longer in the same place where He was.

Hmmm. I’ve never noticed that before. Jesus didn’t run immediately to the sick and heal him, he finished what he was doing, where he was, first.

Read that again.

I did. And then I read it over, and over, and over. I couldn’t grasp what the relevance to me was.

I read on. Jesus and the disciples have a little chat about things. The disciples say, “Hey, we should probably go see Lazarus….”

Jesus responds to them.

John 11:14-15

So then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, And for your sake I am glad that I was not there; it will help you to trust Me.”

Knowing how the story ends, I could see Jesus’ point here. Because he was REALLY dead, there was no question if he was actually raised or not. There was no room to question the actuality of the miracle.

The disciples and Jesus discuss some travelling options. They arrive at Bethany to a grieving crowd. Mary collapses at Jesus feet, stricken with grief.

John 11:33-36

When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who came with her sobbing, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.

And He said, Where have you laid him? They said to Him, Lord, come and see.

Jesus wept.

The Jews said, See how  He loved him!

I felt something odd in my spirit. Jesus knew that Lazarus would die. He also knew what was about to happen, that he would be raised from the dead. But, even still, his heart was sad for his friends. His heart was sad at the loss.

My heart is sad for your grief, for your loss.

Then why didn’t you just heal my baby?! Wouldn’t that have been easier?

Then what about the miracle?

What miracle?! My baby is still dead. There was no miraculous healing.

Keep reading.

I did.

John 11:37

But some of them said, “Could not He who opened a blind man’s eyes have prevented this man from dying?”

Exactly! Couldn’t you have just prevented all of this?!

Then what about the miracle?

LORD!? What miracle?! I know, I know. Lazarus was brought back to life. That didn’t happen for me. Is your point to just rub it in my face that you *could* but didn’t?!

No, child. I am able, but I couldn’t. Because if I had, there would have been no miracle.

Wait, so, You *couldn’t*?!  What about Lazarus? You raised him!

You are only hearing you. I said, I was *able*, but I couldn’t, because of the miracle.

I was so confused. I failed to see.

Keep reading.

John 11:40

Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God?”

Did I not tell you that if you trust Me, you will see My glory?

I trust you, but I’m not seeing it, Lord. I see no glory. So, what? My baby still died. What kind of testimony is that?!

Keep reading.

John 11: 41-44

So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. Yes, I know You always hear and listen to Me, but I have said this for the benefit of the people standing around, so that they may believe that You did send Me.”

When He had said this, He shouted with a loud voice,” Lazarus, come out!”

And out walked the man who had been dead.

I still don’t get it.

Because you only want the answer you want. 

No, I just want to not have a dead baby. I prayed for healing. You didn’t heal. 

I didn’t heal the way you wanted Me to heal.

Or, you know, at all. 

Let Me perform the miracle I have for you, not the miracle you think you want.

What do you mean? It’s over! Are you magically going to un-miscarry the baby and heal it?

She is healed. She is whole. She is complete. She is perfect.

But she was mine, and you took her. 

She is Mine. And I allowed you to borrow her, for the sake of the miracle.

What?!

Name the baby. 

Fine. I’ll call him Lazarus. Oh, wait, that’s not fitting. Lazarus was raised… 

Name the baby, name the start of the miracle.

I spent the next few hours searching and praying. Arguing with God. Questioning Him. I read and re-read the story of Lazarus, searching for the name I was to name this baby.

Then, suddenly and abruptly, I had a revelation.

Bethany.

As I tossed the name around in my head, it became more and more clear.

Bethany is where the miracle begins.

It’s where Lazarus is. It’s where Jesus goes. It’s where Lazarus is raised.

Without the sickness and death, there would be no returning to life.

Bethany.

Without this tiny, little, broken-heart-made-whole-by-Jesus, only held in my womb – never in my arms, perfect baby’s death, there could never be a miracle.

Bethany.

Without the pain, there would be no reason to cling to Jesus.

 

Sitting in the stillness one night, I looked at my husband. He looked up at me.

“What do you think about the name, Bethany?” I asked Mr.

“Oh! I really like that! Where did you come up with that?”

“It’s a long story…”

“Well, let’s hear it!” He said.

 

We named her Bethany.

Bethany is Jesus’ baby, that He allowed me to borrow, even for 11 short weeks. 

Bethany is my perfect baby, who is waiting in perfect Heaven, who was spared this awful world.

Bethany is where my miracle begins.

 

Where is the start of your miracle?

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3 Responses to “Oh, Lazarus- (Part 3/5)”

  1. Sarah Farrell June 7, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

    wow, I have goose bumps this is beautiful! Thanks you for sharing this! Im looking forward to meeting baby Bethany, your miracle!

  2. Liz Ruiz NeSmith June 8, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    So beautiful, mama! It can be so hard to trust in his power and love when all we can think of is our disappointment.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My Miscarriage Story | just like dandelions - June 26, 2014

    […] In Part 3, I talk about how our baby got her name. […]

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