A Mess or a Miracle?

messPastor Tom Townsend Shares

Life is full of messes. No matter who you are, where you live, or what your occupation is, life has its challenges.

Our family has seen its share of messes. A couple of years ago, our 40-year old son-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer. You talk about stirring up a mess – we were rocked!

I remember that as we prepared to travel to be with our daughter and son-in law for his biopsy, I read John chapter 11. It is in this passage that Jesus is summoned to some friends’ home – Lazarus, Mary and Martha – because Lazarus was sick. Jesus does not go right away, and by the time he arrives, Lazarus has died. Martha saw Jesus coming and confronted Him by saying: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

What a mess! The two sisters are left on their own without a male provider. In their culture, that was a very difficult situation – almost beyond hope.

Jesus asked to be taken to the tomb where Lazarus was buried. Again, Martha came close to rebuking the Lord by saying: “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”

What a mess! As was the custom, Lazarus had been buried immediately because there was no attempt to preserve the body. Body deterioration had indeed set in by this time.

You may know the rest of the story. Jesus asked for them to remove the stone over the tomb, and then with a loud voice cried out: “Lazarus, come out!” And that is just what happened. Lazarus rose from the dead, came out of the tomb, and was reunited with his sisters and friends. What a miracle!

Here is my point. If there had been no mess, there would have been no miracle. If there had been no test, there would not have been any testimony. If there was no tomb, there would have been no triumph.

Do you have any messes in your life? Are there any things that seem to be out of control? Are you concerned about how things are going to work out?

Let me encourage you to recognize that there is One who wants to take your mess and turn it into a miracle. Now, that does not mean that your situation will turn out just the way you want. But it does mean that we have One who can “work all things together for (our) good” (Romans 8:28) and for His glory. There is One who can be trusted with the messes in your life and who can “provide a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it” (I Corinthians 10:13).

Oh, the rest of our story. After the initial diagnosis of terminal cancer, our son-in law returned to the doctor and was told that he did not have any cancer at all! Our mess was turned into a miracle! And, we praise God for His faithfulness in our lives.

If you have any questions about what this means to you, please contact us at Calvary Baptist Church. We would be honored to share God’s love with you.

Pressing On,

Pastor Tom – Phil 3:14