Fot the last forty days I've been involved with a Facebook group called the Lazarus Experiment. It started the day after Easter and the challenge was to live like Lazarus would have, after Jesus called him out of Lazarus' tomb. (He had been dead for four days.) The story is in the New Testament, book of John, chapter eleven. Aside from the initial joy of seeing Jesus, hearing Him call me by name and realising I had been dead, but are now living again, this was a very thought provoking experience. What would I do differently? There were approximately 70 people involved in this, from all walks of life. Hearing (reading) their stories, circumstances, feeling their pain and sometimes their joy, brought a new perspective for me. Well, maybe not new, but a sense of the individuality of each of our journeys. Some were completely raw in their pain, others timid, some bold and guarded, yet we had a sense of community. We were safe here, we could blurt out feelings, advice and encouragement with hope that someone would hear and maybe identify, even the tiniest bit, that we were not completely off the wall. And in this community, threads of friendships formed that may or may not continue.
I've noticed, in my life, I make friends easily, but usually for a specific time period. The Lord will bring me together with someone(s) for a season, and then the friendship wanes and takes on a different life of its own. This used to bother me a bit, especially when I would hear friends talk about "their friends from High school" or "someone I've been friends with since we were little". I have no one like that in my life. The joy I've found is recognizing the Lord was using me for a specific purpose; with a specific person for just such a time when He needed me.
My devotional times in the last week or so have confirmed this. When faced with a difficult situation at work, the scripture was from Ephesians 6, especially verses 7-8
"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you are serving the LORD, not men."
I felt His Presence. The next day was about not worrying - Phillipians 4:5, and anxiety left me.
Each day there was something that was unmistakenly from God; His very Presence and Peace filled me in each moment of my day. That would be the best thing I could take away from doing this experiment for these last 40 days.
Whatever the future holds - whether it's tomorrow, next month, or years from now, I will remember these Lazarus moments.....with a huge grin because of a silly shopping cart.