There is a group of people in the Bible that doesn't get enough credit.
Wait...that's not how I write...
About two weeks ago, I was in town...alone. My wife had stolen my kids away in the night and driven to see relatives 4 hours away. Without me. I knwe she was going, so I am being a bit overly dramatic, but the point is, I was in my hometown where there are hundreds of people that I know...yet, I was all alone.
So, what was I to do??
i rented movies my wife wouldn't want to see (aka anything in the ACTION genre) and laid around the house eating Chinese food. If the old adage "You are what you eat" was literal, I would be Chinese. And Occasionally Mexican (note to self: cool sounding name for the indy rock band you may one day but will never start: "Occasionally Mexican").
But as I lay (or is it laid) there trying to get some shut-eye, I felt guilty and a little bloated thanks to all of the fried rice, sugary sauce, battered and fried chicken, the egg roll and the delicious 32 oz. sweet tea I had consumed, so I decided the next morning I would head to the Y to get a workout in. More to appease my conscience than anything.
So, I finally fell asleep at the latest time I have stayed up until in years...MIDNIGHT!!!
I awoke, went to the Y and got a great workout in. Saturday mornings are apparently not very popular for the workout scene. There were 3 of us there and it was quiet. No one was awake enough to speak, I suppose.
I burned my 600 calories or approximately 4% of what I had eaten the night before. When I left, I felt I needed a treat.
And right next to the Y is a Panera Bread. Oh YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!
To skip all the formalities and the discussion on the idiotic logic behind chasing my workout with a 520 calorie Spinach and Bacon Souffle', I ordered, Zach gladly put the deliciousness in a paper sack and away I went. As I walked out, another gentleman was beside me. I held the door for him as he was a step or so behind me and when I looked at him, he looked...well...a wreck!!!
He was covered in flour, appeared like he had been awake for a week straight and was completely a mess.
It hit me...he was the Baker! He was the guy who made my soon-to-be workout minimizer.
I am a talkative sort, so I struck up a conversation and he obliged. I found out that he goes to work every night at 11 and works until 8 the next morning, baking all of the tarts, scones, souffles, muffins, etc. I had never thought about him. Or that role. I assumed they had frozen food, microwaved it and overcharged me to the max! Right? RIGHT?
But, no...There is a guy who stays locked inside Panera all night...working. If it weren't for that guy, I would have no souffle.
Again. I had never thought about him and his critical (overstatement?) role in the process...
There is another group of people I had never really noticed in the Bible. They filled a critical (not an understatement) role in a certain episode and I have never thought about them.
That is how they are referred to in John 11:44. Who are they? I don't know. Have no idea who they were and certainly never acknowledged their role in the story.
Lazarus had just been raised from the dead. After 4 days. He came out...Still Bound. Basically, Lazarus was a nasty, filthy, disgusting, smelly mess. His body had been restored, but that doesn't mean the cloths on him were now clean and smelled like daisies. He was gross. Like, Gross Gross.
This hit me the other day...What if "them" hadn't answered the call? If Lazarus came out, but was left all to himself, what would've happened to him? He was wrapped tightly and his face and head were wrapped as well.
He would've died. Again.
"them" are very important people. "them" helped restore Lazarus.
Today we need more of "them."
Often we hear great stories about addicts, prostitutes, drunkards and the like are "saved" from their lives of torture. Very often we unfortunately hear about how they fell back in to sin. Why? How can that be?
Just like Lazarus, who heard the voice of Jesus plainly and clearly, would've died AGAIN, so are we today. There has to be a "them" to come along to help. Why do I think that way?
1. personal experience. If you have read the first few posts of this blog, you know I am on a journey. A journey back from being dead...spiritually and morally dead. And if it weren't for some of the great men God put in my life and my beautiful, Godly wife...I am 99% sure I would be dead all over again.
2. Jesus easily could've commanded the graveclothes off of Lazarus. I honestly believe there was a purposeful inclusion of those around to step in and physically become involved. Jesus was setting an example for us as believers to help each other...no matter how FILTHY our lives look. No matter how SMELLY our sin.
Being "them" can be gross, time-consuming, and HARD WORK.
But that's what we need to be.
We need to be "them."
For God's Glory...we need to become "THEM."