The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” (John 11:44 ESV)
The more I think about the story of Lazarus, the more I’m inspired by it. Here was a man, an extremely ordinary man minding his own business until Jesus showed up. They were friends, especially good friends. Jesus ate with Lazarus and his sisters. They talked and enjoyed each other’s company. It’s no wonder Lazarus’ sisters became upset when Jesus didn’t come to heal their brother immediately. Instead, Jesus delayed his trip.
After his death and renewed life, Lazarus was a different man. He was no longer simply a friend of Jesus; he had become one of Jesus’ miracles. People looked at him with awe, no doubt. He thought of himself differently too. Here was a man weighed down by death only to be resurrected into life again. I think this man, more than any other, understood what it felt like to free from the binding chains of death.
So many things can weigh us down. We can be bound by feelings of insecurity or uncertainty. We can find ourselves overwhelmed by life’s demands. The entanglement of sin can keep us from feeling the peace God has for us. All of these things can hold us captive but Jesus came to set us free. I find freedom to be a great deal sweeter after a time of struggle.
Prayer is a time to talk with God. It’s a time to bring Him our hopes, dreams and fears. It’s a time to sit quietly in the presence of our Savior. Whatever we say to Him stays with Him. He never shares our secret struggles. He quietly listens. Savor the time you spend with Him. He wants you to walk in freedom. He wants you to leave behind the things that hold you back. He wants you to fearlessly trust. Spend time with Him because He loves spending time with you. Know your prayers are heard by a God who longs to set you free.