[reprinted from March 5, 2010]
It happened soon afterward, that he went to a city called Nain. Many of his disciples, along with a great multitude, went with him. Now when he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, one who was dead was carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. Many people of the city were with her. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said to her, â€œDonâ€™t cry.â€ He came near and touched the coffin, and the bearers stood still. He said, â€œYoung man, I tell you, arise!â€ He who was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother.
Fear took hold of all, and they glorified God, saying, â€œA great prophet has arisen among us!â€ and, â€œGod has visited his people!â€ This report went out concerning him in the whole of Judea, and in all the surrounding region. Â Â Â Â Luke 7:11-17 (WEB)
What a wonderful, joyous story this is! I see my Saviorâ€™s heart, moved with compassion for a woman whose son has died and she is alone in the world. In her culture and time, she could literally starve to death without a male family member to protect and â€˜coverâ€™ her. Jesus saw her tears; saw her need and responded.
â€œYoung man, I tell you, get up!â€ Jesus did not give a request. God gave a command! He gave a preview of what and how He will command when He comes from the grave on Easter morning! And His command is obeyed! The man sat us. But he did not just sit up â€“ he spoke! The man was not just breathing. He was alive! Jesus is not just the conqueror of death! He is the give of life! Jesus gave back to the mother that which she lost! He always does. Jesus did not choose to give me back my son when he died. I confess to all of you that I never stopped asking Him to do that â€“ even as I sat beside his bed and knew he had stopped breathing. â€œLord, please, I know you can do this. Please return my son to me.â€ There was silence. It was a few days later as we celebrated Jamesâ€™ life that I received the message that I have heard several times in the last five years, â€œHeâ€™s worshiping with me now. You still have work to do for me there. We have eternity to be together. Keep working.â€
â€œThey were all filled with fear and praised God.â€ It is easier to praise God when He chooses to do the extra-ordinary. The â€˜WOWâ€™ factor brings forth a â€˜WOWâ€™ response! But â€“ see â€“ God does something â€˜WOWâ€™ every time He does something! My son died but because of God I did not die â€“ not physically and not my spirit. Only because of the compassion of Jesus do I continue on and walk out each day. Only because of the healing compassion of Jesus am I able to get out of bed and feel His joy and express His encouragement and know He still â€“ and always has â€“ loves ME! Praise God!
â€œThis news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.â€ Spreading the news is what I have been commissioned to do! â€œGo â€¦ and make disciples â€¦and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you â€¦ I am with you alwaysâ€¦â€ God is with me. God was with the widow and her son. God is with you today whatever road you are walking. The road may be smooth with beautiful flowers. It may be bumpy with major boulders and pot holes. If I make Jesus my pilot (not the co-pilot!), then I am secure and assured on whatever road I am on. May I keep my spiritual eyes open to opportunities to encourage other travelers along the way.
On the Road Again written by Bob Dylan and sung by Willie Nelson
This song really works for me in this devotion as I look forward to traveling down the road of life with my fellow believers.