Days blend into one another, turning from momentous occasions to nothing more than a blur of to do lists. Instead of yearning for a new day, we long for the next big thing, the next big event. It first turns into, “I can’t wait for Friday!” Then Friday comes and it lacks the luster it once possessed. “Oh it’ll be better on Saturday.” But nothing happens. Another pile of laundry gets done and a Lifetime movie wastes the afternoon. Sundays use to bring forth excitement of running into friends and spending time in the Lord’s presence, but the music is showy and the pastor is bland. What happened? Where is the spice of life? I use to lead a life full of adventure and days filled with wonder. Now my days are spent wondering where it all went.
Last night, as I was rocking my sweet daughter to sleep, she pulled me close to her little face. She breathed in the air that I breathed out. She laid her tiny hand on my face and looked at me as I hummed to her. Slowly sleep came and she fell asleep. Yet anytime I tried to right myself up, she pulled me back down to her until she was deep in sleep. It was such a sweet intimate moment between parent and child that I did not want to leave her. This moment, for me, held my heart. It captivated me in a way that no man has ever. She desired to be close to me, to rest in my arms and all I wanted to do was be there for her, to keep her safe as she slept.
As I sat there humming my daughter to sleep, the Lord revealed a similar emotion He has towards us. He is our heavenly Father that delights in His children, especially when we draw near to Him. And when I draw close to Him, so close that I can feel His breathe upon my face, then I am breathing in His essence. He becomes my breath of life. Just as God breathed life into Adam, so He breathes life into us.
But what happens when this life that we have becomes mundane? Our dreams and goals have all but died and there is no hope? We called out to God to save, just to feel disappointed, let down. Where was that breath of life when I asked you to save my marriage? Where was that breath of life when I pleaded that you heal my mother? Where was that breath of life in my darkest hour? I bet Lazarus’ sisters felt the same way.
John 11 tells us the account of Lazarus’ death and resurrection. Mary and Martha had called for Jesus, but to their standards Jesus was late. Lazarus dead. Hopes dashed. Love ended. Breath ceasing. But read John 11:36, “Jesus wept.” It is the shortest verse in the Bible. Those two words are so extremely powerful. He saw that his friend was dead. Gone. But Jesus knew he could bring Lazarus back from the dead with just a spoke word, a breath of words. So why did Jesus weep? Was it really over the death of His friend or the brokenness of Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha. I believe it was the later. Jesus saw their hearts and their pain. Their lives changed as they knew it when Lazarus died. But Jesus is not in the business of leaving us in our darkest hour. He is not the one-night stand that leaves in the morning without so much as a “bye”.
Read the rest of the account of Lazarus.
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave-clothes and let him go.”
The women’s dream of a brother had been dead for days to the point that the stench of death reeked. Yet, Jesus was not concerned with the rot. He saw their hearts. He saw their hurt. And because He is good and merciful, He breathed life back into their hope. They cried out to Jesus and He answered in perfect timing. He proved on that day that there is no time, no place, no circumstance that can separate us from Him and His power.
So back to my original picture: lack-luster life. It seems like an oxymoron. If my life was filled with Jesus’ breath, could I say that it was dead? If I drew so close to Him that His sweet aroma filled my senses, could I say that my life lacked value, purpose, spice? I would say not. Perhaps the reasons why our lives are dead is because we’ve been trying to breathe life into them on our own, while we ourselves are dead in our own transgressions. Jesus is the life our lives need. Perhaps we need to climb into our Heavenly Father’s lap and let Him breathe on us, resting in His arms.
New International Version (NIV)
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
I praise you that we can come into your presence and that you desire the intimacy our lives crave. Breathe your life into us as we seek your face. Let our lives be what you desire them to be, filled with your dreams and your goals for us that will not only enrich us but others around us. Let us be like Isaiah. Lord, here we are. Send us!
In Your holy name,