People like new things. New car smell, baby snuggles, the latest tech, or literally anything we buy. Even if it’s second hand, it’s “new to you”. Even relationships, that honeymoon phase, or the excitement of having new friends or people in our lives.
But at some point, if we don’t change how we treat the new thing, we’ll find ourselves disappointed or feeling like it’s an old thing. We get a new car, and it’s exciting; we promise ourselves we’ll keep this one clean. Then we take a road trip, or we just have one meal that might leave crumbs. Soon, the car on the inside becomes just as dirty or run down as our old one. We get into a new relationship, and we have expectations since the old one wasn’t good. But we don’t change how we treat them, or we develop the same habits as last time, or it’s the same toxicity that was in the last girl or guy it was just a new package.
In John 11, Jesus comes to the tomb of Lazarus, joined with many people to witness the miracle, He tells them to move the stone away from the grave. Martha warns of the odor that will leak out because Lazarus has been decomposing and rotting for days. But nevertheless, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead before their eyes. However, before He tells Lazarus to mingle with the people, He tells him to remove the grave clothes.
The grave clothes would have brought that funky smell around with Lazarus. The smell of death would have lingered. But I wonder how many times we let odors of our past linger with us. The pain others caused, the secret sins that we still indulge in, the bad habits from our old lives we still act on. But we wouldn’t reuse a milk jug without rinsing it out. We don’t reuse dirty dishes or the same towel everyday without washing it. Yet when Jesus has already come and washed us with His blood, we still carry around our grave clothes.
My challenge for you today is identify what you haven’t let go of from your past. Hurt, bitterness, a cheating heart, trust issues, whatever that is for you. Identify it, and begin praying over it. Ask for ways to give it up. Don’t let something you’ve been carrying for days, or months, or years stop you from growing and accepting daily joy from God. Become new.
“So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” -John 11:41-44