I have been struggling to write the next chapter for weeks. I have started, stopped and restarted from a whole new angle a half dozen times. It just wasn’t working. Finally I knew why. I was trying so hard to sermonize, but that is not what this space is for.
I want you to see Jesus in my words, in my life, in my story. I want it so badly that I try constantly to take my story and the ways Jesus has revealed himself to me through it and extract the common principles from the beauty of His creative design and offer you a surefire formula that will undoubtedly hand you a secret key that is always true for everyone, but I can’t.
You cannot read Lazarus’ story and say that every time you pray and God doesn’t heal, its because He is waiting to raise your deceased loved one from the dead… but it does mean that He can. The point of story, this story, your story, and every story in Scripture is to let Jesus show up and be a person, not a principle. He is the resurrection and the life–the mystery and intrigue of this truth is best understood by encountering it again and again in stories where we find Him being exactly who He has claimed to be with unique people in unique circumstances.
He is the master storyteller who tears down the accidental fences of my mind. He is the creator of heaven and earth and the natural order and (as Scripture clearly depicts over and over again) He breaks that natural order when it pleases Him to do so. He has no bounds. He is limitless. He will go (and lead us) into uncharted territory. He will write dialogue that is shocking. He will map out a plot line that is unprecedented. Nothing is too hard for Him.
So, I will not hand you an extracted principle, instead I will tell you a story, and let God speak to you anyway He likes.