This idea of planting seeds has always been a little bit fascinating to me.
The idea of breaking apart the soil, taking a tiny seed, and burying it in the dark.
After all, that poor, little seed has no idea why it is being placed into the dark with dirt covered hard over top of it. It doesn't understand that it's being buried in the broken soil for a purpose greater than itself. The purpose of a garden. A beautiful garden full of vegetables and fruit, or flowers that make each visitor stop and savor their smell.
I think this peaks my interest so much, because sometimes...sometimes I can be that seed.
And God? God is the perfect Gardener who gently places me in the broken soil and buries me deep for a purpose greater than myself.
He places me in the midst of broken plans, broken dreams, broken relationships, and He asks me to grow there.
But sometimes I just don't understand. I don't understand how pain can bring beauty. How the pain of being buried deep in the broken can cause growth that brings a beautiful garden.
And I wonder...I wonder if Lazarus felt the same way.
We can read his story in the Gospel of John chapter eleven. The story of his death and resurrection.
So many times I have read this chapter--this story--and I have seen it from the perspective of Mary, of Martha, of Jesus, of the onlookers. But Lazarus? I haven't really stopped to think about his perspective before.
You see, he was sick. Really sick. The Bible doesn't tell us what exactly he was sick with, but we know it had to be bad.
Think about a time when you were so sick you felt like you might die (or perhaps you weren't really that bad, but your dramatic side made it seem much worse). That's probably how Lazarus felt...and worse.
Because he did die.
In the midst of his sickness, his sisters called for Jesus to come heal him. I wonder if he knew this. I wonder if he sighed with relief, thinking that Jesus would show up right away and heal him...rescue him from the suffering.
But Lazarus died. Jesus hadn't come.
And I wonder how Lazarus must have felt. Because he didn't know. He didn't know that Jesus was on His way. He didn't know that Jesus had a great, wonderful plan. He didn't know that the suffering was not in vain.
All he knew was that he was buried like the seeds in the broken soil.
He was buried in a dark tomb that signified death and the end.
Jesus was on the way.
Even when they didn't know it. Even when they might not have believed it. He was on His way to them.
I know you've felt it too. We all have at some point. This feeling of being buried. Of being pressured under the dirt of the broken soil. And we sometimes suffer, wondering why Jesus hasn't come yet.
Friend, He's on His way.
And let me just tell you, He will stop at nothing to heal your broken soul. He is coming to heal you, He is coming to bring your miracle. Because He has one. The art of a seed dying in this broken soil, and resurrecting into a beautiful garden is a miracle in itself.
Whatever you have gone through, whenever you feel like you are buried too deep in the soil, just remember...He is bringing your miracle. I don't know when, but I do know it's coming. Maybe not until you greet Him on that beautiful shore in Heaven. But He does have a beautiful plan. And His plans never fail. His faithfulness never fails. His love never fails.
I'm almost certain when Lazarus heard those words of Jesus, "Lazarus, come forth!" he must have smiled a little bit. In that moment, perhaps he didn't understand all of it, but perhaps when he heard those words he understood just a little piece of it. And in that moment, I would venture to guess that he understood a little bit more about the beauty of seeds and of death and resurrection. The miracle it brings.
The words are coming to you too, friend.
When Jesus calls to you to "come forth" from the broken soil.
And someday you will look back on the beautiful garden of your life and be amazed at how the death of a seed could bring something so absolutely, stunningly beautiful.