Life has a way of wearing on a person. Under the weight of losses, pressures, failures, and endless demands, something in our souls begins to wither. Passions dry up. The zeal of a beginning turns into a despairing end. A stone falls heavily down, crushing our will, and in those very places where Jesus once gave birth to vibrant hope, we yield to the grave. Our hearts retreat with a “no more” as death gets ahold of us. But the cemetery is not where we are meant to live.
I had the privilege of visiting Israel a few years ago. It was an incredible experience to go to places I had read of and wondered at for so long. One day, I was awed to be standing outside of Lazarus’s tomb. While there, the pastor leading our little group asked us to inquire of God if there were places within us that we had closed in a grave. I knew the answer for me was yes. I was tired. I was hurting. Betrayal from a friend had left me wanting to shrink back from all people. My passion for life had dimmed. My zeal to tell others of the wonders of Jesus had faded. I realized a part of my heart had become buried. And then I felt His call.
Jesus’ call to us is the same as His call to Lazarus as He stood before his grave in John 11: “Come out!” he commanded. “Come alive!” We are not meant to live in a tomb. Our callings are needed in the world; they are not to be buried under the burden of others’ demands or judgments. Pain comes, but it does not get to seal our graves.
So I ask you, where is death for you? What song has died on your lips at the critics’ continual shaming of your voice? Jesus commands you loudly and firmly to “come out.” And He says it with tears. He is fierce in His instruction and in His intercession for you. He has life for you. Life. Ask Jesus where the tomb holds you and then answer His call.