Maebry squeezed his hand tighter, hoping for some type of sign. The beeping machines next to his hospital bed irritated her like an annoying fly. She wanted to silence the constant reminder of her husband’s condition. Maebry rested her head on his chest.

And wept.

Ten weeks ago, Langford had been in a car accident and suffered major head trauma. The doctors gave her absolutely no hope that her husband would survive, but she refused to give up. The conversation played over and over in her mind like a scene from a bad movie.

The doctor stood with his clipboard in one hand while he flicked the pen in the other. “Our team of doctors have gone over all the test results and we concur. I’m sorry to tell you this, but all indications lead us to believe he’s not going to survive.”

Maebry dropped into her chair. “That can’t be true. If only the ambulance arrived at the accident sooner. He wouldn’t be in this condition.”

“It wouldn’t have helped. Your husband’s injuries were too severe.”

“What are you saying?”

The doctor stopped clicking his pen and shoved it in his front jacket pocket. “We suggest taking him off of life support.”

Maebry slipped from her chair and fell to her knees. “No, I won’t do it.”

Chatter from the nurse’s station brought her back to the present. That conversation was weeks ago. Maebry still held tight to the hope her husband would wake up. She sat at his bedside every day, praying for a sign.

She kissed Langford’s hand. “Please come back to me.”

Beep, beep, beep.

Maebry pounded on her husband’s chest, tears streaming down her face. “Langford, come out of it!”

A gasp filled the room.

She lifted her head. Langford’s eyes were open.

Maebry jolted to her feet. “Honey?”

Do you ever wonder what went through Martha’s mind when she saw Jesus coming after she had sent word to Him of her brother’s illness? Would she have tapped her toe in annoyance at His tardiness? Would she have asked Him, “Why? Why? Why?”

Let’s take a closer look at the story.

Martha asked for help. She didn’t hold on to her pride thinking things would get better. She knew the gravity of the situation and reached out. How many times does our pride get in the way from asking others for help? Pride can be a good thing, but there are times when we need to let it go.

Martha had hope. She didn’t give up when her brother turned deathly ill. She sent word to Jesus. In those days that wouldn’t have been easy. They didn’t have cell phones, the Internet or even cars to take them places. She couldn’t Facebook Him. Someone probably had to set out on foot to deliver the message. She could have just given up but she didn’t. How easily do we lose hope when things get tough?

Martha knew Jesus could heal. She’d seen and heard of the many miracles Jesus had performed. She trusted Him to heal her brother. However, Jesus didn’t arrive in time. I’m sure she was disappointed. She even said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” (John 11:21-22) What faith! Is ours that strong?

My favorite part of this story is when Jesus said, “Lazarus, come out!” Do you think Martha held her breath in anticipation? Or did doubts tumble through her mind? Did she turn her nose up at the smell when her brother walked out of the tomb? I doubt it. She ran to him!

The story of Lazarus teaches us to never give up hope. Even when the times are tough. Even when we’re faced with what seems like the impossible.

Our hope is in Jesus. He can do anything.

When we leave this earth, will you hear Him say, “Come out”?

What does this story teach you? Have you lost hope in something? Share with us so we can be encouraged.

John 11:23 (NIV)
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

I Will Rise – Chris Tomlin
Listen to the words of this song. It talks about our hope in Christ and how He’s won the victory. One day all those who know Him will rise on eagles’ wings. There will be no more sorrow or pain. Praise Him!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bms0ZiM_KG0]

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