Monday, April 28, 2008

Lazarus Sat at the Table with Him

I've tried all week to write this post, but every time I became overwhelmed and gave up. I am going to try one more time.

I know that God and God alone brought Ethan back to us. I know that He gave Ethan back his memory, his personality, his sense of humor and his ability to think and reason. However, I often wonder how God will use him to make a difference in this world and in His kingdom. I am so amazed at what all God has done in Ethan's life, but sometimes frustrated at the same time that others may not see it. I want Ethan to know that his life makes a difference in this crazy world. I know that he might not ever be able to do the things that others do. I know that the plans and dreams that Ethan had for himself may have to change. I know that I have had to lay down many of my hopes for him. But I also know that God has a plan and a purpose for this life He saved.

Living with Ethan's injury day in and day out, and watching other young people get married, start new jobs, become independent, well, sometimes my eyes start focusing only on what I can see. How good is God that He rescues us with a word and helps us to remember that we have to believe to see. (John 11:40) He rescued me once again last Sunday morning.

I had a few moments to spare, so with a cup of coffee in one hand and the remote in the other, I went channel surfing. I ran across a preacher talking about Lazarus. Here is where God stepped in with His hope. "Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil." (Luke 12: 1-3) Martha is still doing what she does best, serving. Mary is again worshiping on her knees. And the one who was raised from the dead is sitting. Wouldn't it make more sense for Lazarus to be up doing something important? Wouldn't you think that considering what Jesus had done for him, that Lazarus would be doing something for Him? The Bible doesn't tell us anything that Lazarus did after he was raised from the dead, except that he sat. No books, no great speeches. He just sat at a table with Jesus.

Ethan does a lot of sitting. What God showed me is that it isn't what Ethan can do that will make a difference. It is what He has done for Ethan that will make his life count. For those that have eyes to see, Ethan's life, even with him just sitting, will be an example of God's compassion, His grace, and His power. "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God that the Son of God may be glorified through it." (John 11:4) I am humbled that God has chosen my son through which to glorify His Son.

I know that I get so busy in trying to do for God, in trying to make a difference, that I don't spend enough time with Him, just sitting at His table with Him, to let Him be glorified through me. Amazing that He could use me. Now that's some kind of mercy, some kind of grace, and some kind of power!

I remember now a special moment that happened only a couple of weeks ago. When my niece and her new groom walked out of the church after their wedding, and my sister and the groom's mother had been escorted out of the church, my little family had the opportunity to walk down the aisle of that beautiful church. The pews were filled with many people who knew our story and who had prayed for a miracle for us. I thought, as my husband pushed Ethan in his wheelchair, and my oldest son and I followed behind them, this is what God has done. Look and see what God has done! All for His glory and our good.

Bless you. I hope that today you may have a few minutes just to sit with Jesus.

At the wedding reception


  1. Beautiful. I stand amazed at what God has and is doing. I also stand amazed that you seem to see everything God is doing and you are so free to give Him Praise and Glory. All of your lives have touched mine. Jim taking such wonderful care of Ethan 24/7, You bringing to my attention every blessing and Ethan's contenance. I truly to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Thank You. LOVE YOU ALL MaryLois

  2. It is amazing what God is doing in Ethan's life. He is such a kind person. I can only imagine how easy it is to get bogged down. I do too. Sometimes I need to stop and sit with God and talk to him too. I finding myself doing rather than listening. Thanks for bringing this blog to the forefront!! You are a GREAT mother. Happy Birthday, tomorrow to Ethan!!!

  3. As I have said so many times before, Ethan's life has forever changed mine. Seeing what God has done in Ethan's life is a constant reminder for me...all things are possible with God. I know that He has a plan for the lives of all of our children. Praise God for what he has done and he is going to do. Amen and Amen. Happy Birthday, Ethan I love you. Mary Jo

  4. Cheri, it really is wonderful to see and hear how God is working in Ethan's life.

    Yet even more than that it is AWESOME to see and hear how He is working in you and Jim. Every time I see you there is more fruit produced by the Spirit that lives in you. You are one of the most beautiful women I know and the love of Christ is evident in your every movement. YOU are a testimony to God and He is glorified in YOU.

    And for Jim, I love him greatly. He is so sweet and gentle. I can see Jesus in Jim as He was "moved with compassion" so often for his beloved children. Jim is like that.

    Our wonderful Father in Heaven has so much for your family. He will be glorified in ways that you may never see on this earth. He loves you, Jim, Ethan, and Seth with an everlasting love that will never fail any of you.

    I love you with all my heart Cheri. In Christ, Gemma

  5. Wow, you really should write a book! I am so thankful that God chose to bring Ethan back. He is such a funny guy, he always brings a smile to my face. Happy Birthday, ETHAN!!!

  6. You wrote: "The Bible doesn't tell us anything that Lazarus did after he was raised from the dead, except that he sat. No books, no great speeches. He just sat at a table with Jesus." But in fact there is more to his story. is a Bible study that only cites the plain text of scripture and, for example, it points out that Lazarus became such a threat to the scholars of that day that they elected to put out a hit contract on him in addition to their plot to kill Jesus. Would they have done this if "he just sat at a table with Jesus"?

    The plot to kill Lazarus by the scholars of the day clearly was not motivated simply because "he just sat at a table with Jesus".

    Pr. 25:2

  7. Jim,

    I will definitely look at that web site about Lazarus. Thanks for stopping by, and I welcome you to come back and read about our lives and all that God has done and is continuing to do.

    I am definitely not a Bible scholar. One of the greatest regrets of my life has been the lack of time I have spent reading and studying God's Word. I guess my point, no matter how simple it was made, is that a life that has been raised from the dead, be it from a spiritual death or a physical death, is one of the greatest testimonies of God's grace and power. Perhaps Lazarus did more. But even if he did not, as long as Lazarus was alive, he was a testimony to whom Jesus was (and is). No one could argue away what Jesus had done. Lazarus had been dead for three days, and now he was alive! Of course the enemies of Jesus wanted to get rid of Lazarus. Jesus warned us of this in John 15:19. "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."
    When God does something in a life that only He can do, that life becomes a living testimony.

  8. Well, My "Happy Birthday" is late as all of you know is the norm for me; but hey, I eventually get it done! Ethan, I hope your mom is reading all of this to you. What God has done in your life is a testimony to all of us. Sometimes when things are hard, I say to myself, "I know I can do this. Ethan is doing it. Cheri is doing it. Jim is doing it. I know I can, with God's help, walk through this. God is bigger. God is the miracle worker. Look at Ethan. God raised him from the 'dead' so he can take care of any thing that comes my way." When I reflect on all He has done, I know that He will hear my cry and He will answer. Thanks for hanging in there and being a inspiration to all of us. I LOVE YOU ALL!