Day 20 – October 29, 2012 – 40-Day Spiritual Journey

ASK WHY

FASTING – TODAY WE WILL BE FASTING “PERSONAL PURCHASES”. PLEASE REFER TO PAGE 3 FOR MORE INFORMATION ON FASTING.

READ John 11: 1-36

REFLECT

One of the most frustrating stages of parenting is the “why” stage. It’s that stage (between 3 and 6) when your child asks you “why” about every issue that comes up. Ever notice that the dynamic behind most of those conversations? They are asking about what’s possible. And you’re trying to tell them about the way it ‘really is’.

“Why can’t people at school be nicer to everyone?” “Well, I wish they could be, but people are like that.” “Why are people like that?”
“They just are.”
“Well why doesn’t someone change them?”
“Well that’s complicated. You can be nice to people though.”
“Why can’t everyone else be, too?”
“Because.”
“Well why?”
“I don’t know why, just because. Now get your hands washed for dinner…”

Strangely, Jesus behaved more like the challenge-the-status quo five year old than the life-worn parent in our passage today. Jesus’ friend Lazarus had died. Jesus saw a bold new vision of resurrection. Everyone else saw only death. I imagine Jesus wanted to ask them why.

In John 11:39, Martha begs Jesus not to head to the tomb, because it’s four days after the funeral. All she sees is death. Jesus still sees resurrection where everyone else saw death.

Then, in a shocking (to us) ending, Lazarus bursts out, fully alive. So…why couldn’t we see what Jesus saw?

“Why” is one of the most powerful questions you can ask. In our story, it was the difference between seeing only death, and seizing resurrection.

“Why” is bold. What if more adults asked why? Why am I not more bold? Why did I write him off spiritually? Why will I never invite (insert name)? Why do I pray so timidly? Why am I so cynical about giving to God’s work?

BOTTOM LINE

Ask yourself (and God) why you’re not more bold. Don’t stop until you’ve been 100% honest.

LIVE

What excuses do you make for not being more bold? What part of your life and personal ministry is dead because you won’t ask “why?” Where, in your life, does Jesus want to bring more life?

PRAY

Lord, forgive me for not challenging the status quo more often. Help me to ask why I do that. Where I have settled for death, please Lord Jesus, bring life.

Carey Nieuwhof

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