(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)
JOSEPH’S brothers threw him into a pit, then took him out and sold him to the Ishmeelites. They thought that they had gotten rid of him and that he would be a goner for sure. Years passed by and they concluded that he must be dead. After all, it was impossible for such a puny seventeen year old to make it as a slave in whatever strange land he had ended up…
BUT YET GOD did his thing beautifully, so much so that those same brothers who had earlier hoped and believed that he was dead, told their father about twenty years later, when they had seen with their own eyes that Joseph was alive and well and prospering in the Lord and promoted to unimaginable heights, “Joseph is yet alive, and he is Governor over all the land of Egypt.”
LAZARUS’ family, friends and all who knew him, heard of his sickness and knew of his death. By the time Jesus arrived on the scene, Mary, Martha and those that were with them were all in mourning, for Lazarus had gone from being terminally ill to dying and he had been dead and decomposing for four days. The stench must have been awful. While he lay in his grave and his corpse was rotting, those who knew he had died, concluded that they would never see him alive and well again, at least not in this life…
BUT YET GOD did his thing beautifully, so much so that when Jesus commanded that the stone at the mouth of his grave be removed and for him to come forth, something miraculous happened. The Bible states “And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes…”
JAIRUS’ daughter was so ill, that Jairus feared she would die. He therefore sought Jesus and asked him to come to his house to heal her. He had heard of Jesus’ healing power. Yet, before Jesus could reach and perhaps due to distractions on the way, Jairus’ people met him and conveyed the devastating news: His daughter had died! They therefore told him that there was no need to further bother the master…
BUT YET GOD did his thing beautifully, so much so that Jesus defied the report, told Jairus to keep believing, still went to that home, told all those who were wailing that she was not dead but sleeping, suffered their ridicule as a result, put them all out of the girl’s room except for her parents and three of his disciples, took the dead girl’s hand and commanded her to rise.
At the authoritative words “Talitha Cumi”, the incredulous happened. Jesus had not come too late after all. According to all human understanding and rationale, the girl was dead with nothing left to do but to transfer her to a grave for decomposition. Yet he who was Lord over all was still right on time. He silenced the naysayers and doubters with his power. At his words, the Bible states that “… straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.”
When I read the scriptures or meditate on them, I refuse to regard them as just true stories of old of what Jesus did back then. I see it as examples of the power that he STILL has today and I take these examples to the Lord and say, “What you did here, I need you to do for me too.” This is why on 02nd January, 2019, a bit weary with all that had happened in my life thus far and wanting a change, I prayed:
- ‘Father in heaven, let it be to me Lord, even as you did in these three situations. Let it be to me according to my faith in Jesus. Many times I have felt as if I was left for dead BUT YET I know that you can still resurrect me up out of my life circumstances and everything that has been keeping me stuck. If you say LOOSE ME, I will be loosed. If you say TALITHA CUMI, I will arise. If you say COME FORTH, I will come forth and if your FAVOUR stays with me, I know that all will be well with me in this life, even as it was with Joseph. Help me Father in heaven. I need nothing short of a miracle or a bunch of miracles. Imbue me now with your RESURRECTION POWER and please raise me back to life, in Jesus name, Amen.’
Having prayed this prayer, I know from experience that Jesus takes his time but he does come. I therefore wait patiently, trusting him to do exactly what he did for Joseph, Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter, in my life.
(Written on 02nd January, 2019)
Today, more than three years after I wrote the above Article, I found myself in a low place, due to the endless rejection I had received from the world in general. I wrote the following in my pain, after which, I cried:
- Everybody is treating me as if I am not even in the land of the living: The world of work, Christian men, family members (immediate and extended), the Church I attend. Am I invisible? How is it that I’ve been kicked out and labelled irrelevant, WHEN I’M STILL ALIVE? Do you all hear me? I’m still alive! How is it that you all treat me as if I am dead when my heart IS STILL BEATING? The depth of the hurt I feel from being regarded as dead and therefore ignored, I can’t even explain. How could it be that nobody, anywhere, cares that I still breathe?
Alas, by reason of years and years of what seems like inactivity and other reasons, I have realized that people in general have concluded that I am dead (based on how I am ostracized, dismissed and ignored) but no matter how long it takes and although it will take nothing short of a miracle from THE MOST HIGH, I am still trusting God to do something beautiful in my life, though undeserved, even as he did for Joseph, Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter.
If he decides to do nothing in my life, then that is it for me, as nobody could make a difference and raise me up from my ashes but HIM. I therefore hope desperately in his mercy and in none else. If he does raise me up from my seeming dead state, I can only hope that he would do so to his honour and glory, so that, even as his Word states, those who have resigned my situation and life as hopeless, would know, that, in addition to all that the Lord does, he also builds ruined places and plants that which was desolate.
In Ezekiel 36: 1-10 and 33-36, God told his people through his Prophet, who had also found themselves in a place where they had been pretty much dismissed as irrelevant, a lost cause and dead, by those around them:
- “Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord: Thus saith the Lord God; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession: Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people:
- Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God; Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about; Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.
- Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen: Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame. But ye, O mountains of Israel, YE SHALL SHOOT FORTH YOUR BRANCHES, AND YIELD YOUJR FRUIT, to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. FOR, BEHOLD, I AM FOR YOU, AND I WILL TURN UNTO YOU, AND YE SHALL BE TILLED AND SOWN: And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and THE CITIES SHALL BE INHABITED, AND THE WASTES SHALL BE BUILDED…
- Thus saith the Lord God; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I WILL ALSO CAUSE YOU TO DWELL IN THE CITIES, AND THE WASTES SHALL BE BUILDED. AND THE DESOLATE LAND SHALL BE TILLED, WHEREAS IT LAY DESOLATE IN THE SIGHT OF ALL THAT PASSED BY.
- And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know THAT I THE LORD BUILD THE RUINED PLACES, AND PLANT THAT THAT WAS DESOLATE: I THE LORD HAVE SPOKEN IT, AND I WILL DO IT.”
In the very next chapter, the Prophet in Ezekiel 37:1-14, further went on to speak of his experience seeing a valley full of bones that were very dry, which signaled the extent of the apparent hopelessness of Israel’s state.
YET, despite the dry bones and that God’s people were considered as good as dead by those around them, GOD PROMISED TO INTERVENE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND TO TURN THE TIDE. BY HIS MIGHT AND HIS POWER ALONE, HE WOULD RAISE THAT WHICH SEEMED TO BE IRREVERSIBLY DEAD.
The Prophet states:
- “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
- And he said unto me, SON OF MAN, CAN THESE BONES LIVE? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; BEHOLD, I WILL CAUSE BREATH TO ENTER INTO YOU, AND YE SHALL LIVE: AND I WILL LAY SINEWS UPON YOU, AND WILL BRING UP FLESH UPON YOU, AND COVER YOU WITH SKIN, AND PUT BREATH IN YOU, AND YE SHALL LIVE, AND YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD.
- So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O BREATH, AND BREATHE UPON THESE SLAIN, THAT THEY MAY LIVE. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and THE BREATH CAME INTO THEM, AND THEY LIVED, AND STOOD UP UPON THEIR FEET, AN EXCEEDING GREAT ARMY.
- Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.”
I know that those who may be reading the Articles on this Page, may come to the conclusion that all I ever do is write and write but yet, no real change ever seems to materialize in my life.
That would be a fair assessment and believe me, there are days when I feel the same way and the enemy tries to discourage me into believing that my situation is hopeless and that God has either forgotten me or is fed up of me and so will leave me in the horrible pit of my circumstances.
However, despite how I feel and that it does hurt to know that God could change my circumstances at any point in time by just saying the word and willing it to be so and some of what I’ve been through and am going through confuses me because I don’t understand why, I serve a God that cannot be rushed or manipulated. He will act in his own time and in his own way and for his own purpose. I am still trusting him to turn things around in my life and to raise me up out of my dead circumstances because from what I’ve learned of him in the Word and even in my past experiences, HE MAY TAKE HIS TIME BUT HE DOES COME.
(Addendum written on 12th April, 2022)
If you found this Article useful or interesting, then you will surely also be interested in reading more of my Articles under the NOTES section as follows:-
- Note 40 – ‘Please…Allow Him To Blow Your Mind’
- Note 157 – ‘The Price Tag Of Success’
- Note 112 – ‘Lessons I Have Learned From The Lazarus Story’
- Note 114 – ‘…But God’
- Note 117 – ‘Whose Report Will You Believe?’
- Note 123 – ‘We Serve A ‘Let There Be’ God’
- Note 124 – ‘Are You One That Has To See Before You Can Believe?’
- Note 125 – ‘Unbelief Cannot Come’
- Note 154 – ‘They Say I Can’t But By God’s Grace I Will’
- Note 159 – ‘Next Stop – Victory!’
- Note 171 – ‘If That Tree Could Talk’
- Note 174 – ‘They Can Think Whatever They Like – God Will Do Whatever He Pleases.’
- Note 191 -‘When God Blows Your Mind With His Answer And Leaves You Flabbergasted’
- Note 193 – ‘God Calls Me Hephzibah’
- Note 194 – ‘It Is Well’
- Note 195 – ‘When God Promises To Write-On A Write-Off’
- Note 196 – ‘A Hopeless End Or An Endless Hope?’