The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)
Christmas decorations have been put away and a new year has begun. Hope fills the air as resolutions are being made. Some will repeat the resolutions of the previous year, while others will set out on new adventures. With the Christmas rush over, we now look forward to what awaits us in the coming days.
Maybe this is the year you will experience healing. Maybe this is the year the promise you have been waiting for unfolds. Will this be the year that relationship finds reconciliation? Will this be the year grief begins to release its tight grasp? Maybe this will be the year of new and exciting adventures. Could this be the year hope and peace weave themselves into every fabric of life? Maybe this is the year breakthrough happens.
In hopeful expectation, will you run to Him?
As I set out in the new year and new adventures, I become easily engulfed in myself. I chart a course, and I venture out alone. All too soon, I become frustrated and exhausted. Surely all these goals will not go unmet. No, this is the year of checking all those ideas off my list! Right? But when I stop, in my weary and anxious state, I turn to find I have not been running toward the One who charted my course.
He is calling you, by name, to come to Him.
In the book of John chapter eleven, we are told of the death of Lazarus. Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters, are devastated. Where was Jesus? He was their friend. Why did He not come? They had sent for Him, yet He did not arrive when Mary and Martha believed they needed Him the most.
As Jesus was on His way, Martha went to meet Him. Her statement expressed her grief, her anguish, and even some anger.
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” (John 11:21-22)
I can almost see Martha standing there, shoulders pulled back, head held high. She tries to hold back her tears as her fists are clenched at her side. She knows who she is speaking to, and her eyes look piercingly at Him. If you had been here. I can hear her unspoken thought, but you weren’t here.
Martha returns home and informs Mary Jesus is asking for her. She responds by rising and going quickly to Him.
29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. (John 11:29)
Mary’s quick response causes the others in her house to follow her. Unlike her sister, Mary cannot hold back her emotions. As she sees Jesus, she falls at His feet.
32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:32)
Mary spoke the same words Martha did. If you had been here, Lazarus would still be here. Mary is weeping, openly, loudly. Can you hear her cries? A steady stream of tears flow down her face as she cries out at the feet of Jesus. My mind can see her shoulders shaking, her eyes beginning to swell from the constant tears.
Martha and Mary, they ran to Jesus. Filled with grief and sorrow, they went to Him. They knew of His power. They knew He was the Messiah, the one the prophets foretold. These sisters knew Jesus. Martha knew He could take her words, and all the emotion behind them. Mary knew Jesus was the only one who could comfort her. These sisters knew running to Jesus was the best choice.
And Jesus? He is moved by their emotions, by their grief. He asks to be taken to where they have laid Lazarus. He is moved and He too weeps, not as Mary did, but silently. I am sure you know how the story ends. Jesus calls Lazarus out of the tomb, and Lazarus exits fully alive.
Are you running to Him?
As you step into the new year, are your steps drawing you closer to the Father? Are you running to Him with your questions, your dreams, your frustrations, your fears, and your goals? Run to Him; lay everything down at His feet. Wherever each day may take you, I pray you find yourself nearer to the Savior. I pray you see the miracles He is doing in and through you, and the beauty He has created all around you. As you run to Him, I pray you find how deeply loved you are.