Our verse for today comes from John 11:3, ” Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, ‘Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.’ “
You don’t have to work in the medical field or have a wife who is a nurse to know that the hospital is a busy place. And of all the departments, perhaps none is busier than the emergency room. The Center for Disease Control publishes statistics for hospitals, and in 2013, 130 million people visited an emergency department at a hospital. That number represents roughly 41% of the American population who had an illness or incident such that they felt compelled to visit a hospital emergency department. That’s also practically four times the entire population of Canada, and just short of the total population of Russia. And of those 130 million, approximately 12 million were admitted to the hospital, and 1.5 million ended up in the critical care unit. I know I speak for all of us when I say that I appreciate the medical profession and the quality of health care that is available in our country. Even as the rate of hospital visits increases, the number of inpatient hospital deaths is declining. Of patients aged 84 and under, there were about 530,000 who died in the hospital. Though tragic, that total is about 50,000 less than the decade before.
When Lazarus lived, and died, there was no Judah Regional for Mary and Martha to take him to. Their hope would have been in the available medicine of the day, and in their close family friend named Jesus. If they tried any of the treatments commonly used, it soon became evident that they were not enough, and so they sent a message to Jesus that His help was needed. But why? What did they expect Jesus to do? Based on their later comments, they believed that Jesus could at least keep Lazarus from dying. But clearly He had more than that in mind. He wanted his friends to witness the glory of God like no one ever had. When you call for Jesus, when you ask something of Him, it’s important to consider what God’s intentions might be. His ways are not our ways, and our emergencies are usually His opportunities.
As we seek Him today, pray for God to bring you calm amidst your storm. Ask for him to show you all that He can do with what seems like a terminal situation.