April 6, 2014 – Fifth Sunday of Lent

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My husband and I have recently moved from West Virginia to Florida.  We were both raised in West Virginia and raised our children there.  Our plan was to live out the rest of our days in West Virginia.  Well, we discovered that “if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”.   Out of nowhere, God laid out a different path for us. It has certainly been a challenge.  A time of grieving takes place – a death to the life we once knew. We are mourning the various changes and difficulties of moving from one place to another. We miss our family and friends. We feel the pain of loss.  We have had to completely trust in God and rely on Him to guide us on this new path.

In today’s Gospel story of the Raising of Lazarus, we are told of the pain that Martha and Mary are feeling from the death of their brother.  When Jesus sees their weeping, he becomes “deeply troubled” and joins in their weeping.  Jesus knows and shares in our sorrows and suffering.  He tries to reassure Martha and asks for her trust in the resurrection of those who believe.  She tells him she believes, but yet when Jesus asks for the stone to be rolled away, Martha expresses her doubts.  “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.”  Her faith has waivered.

God must really think we “stink” when we continue to lose trust in Him. The “stench” comes from our worries, anxiety, and fears.  When things in life seem to be going in the wrong direction, it is usually because we believe we are in control.  When we let go and let God – He will direct our paths to new life.  There are no promises that this new life will be easy, but there is the promise of eternal life with Jesus.

Slowly, God has revealed His plan for my life here in Florida.  I have been blessed to find a new job in youth ministry. The experiences of our past in WV bring new light to our experiences here in Florida.  We have met some incredibly talented and faith-filled people to continue our journey and support our ministry.   The beauty of His plan continues to reveal itself every day.  It is truly amazing to see His hand in these little miracles.

So don’t cause a “stench” with your fears, worries and anxiety – Trust in God!  From death comes new life for those who believe and trust in Him.  AMEN!

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