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Jesus, Where Were You?

Briefing: Has there been a time in your life where you felt like you were all alone? This sounds goofy but you are not alone. Most, if not all people feel alone at some time in their life.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 11:17-37.

On the Street: Most agencies do not ride partners in patrol vehicles nowadays. When you are a one person unit it is easy to find yourself alone on calls, waiting for backup. This is usually not an issue in a large to mid-sized city but if you are a state highway patrol or sheriff deputy in a rural area of the county or parish, this can be a big issue. Have you ever heard other law enforcement officers jokingly say, “There is never a cop around when you need one”?

This is the second part of the Lazarus story. Jesus is walking up to Mary and Martha’s home and is met on the way by Martha. It is apparent by Martha’s statement that she has great faith in Jesus’ ability to control life but seems to be unaware of His authority over death. Martha says, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Martha, like a lot of us, forgets that God is absolutely sovereign. Jesus could have prevented Lazarus from dying. As a matter of fact, Jesus did not even need to be in Lazarus’ presence to heal him. Remember in John chapter four where Jesus healed the official’s son without being anywhere close to him? The official traveled from Capernaum to Cana in Galilee to ask Jesus to come to his house and heal his son. Jesus does not go with him but heals the official’s son at that very moment.

We fail to understand that God uses moments like this to show us how much He loves us and that He is with us even though we might not see or feel Him.

Realize that if Jesus had stopped Lazarus from dying, there would not be much significance to this story. The greatness of Christ was better demonstrated in Lazarus’ death than in his healing. Jesus had been healing people but the Pharisees and the Jewish people kept demanding more miracles and proof that He was the Messiah.

He was with them the whole time and in their presence but they did not appreciate it. Unfortunately, it is in the moments of brokenness and despair, when we think we are all alone and we cry out to Him, that makes the difference in our lives.

One of my moments of brokenness, feeling isolated and alone came when I was in high school. As I was crying out to the Lord, I came across this poem:

“Footprints in the Sand”

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was only one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one
set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you.”

Investigational Resources: Psalm 51 is a great prayer from David as he cried out to God.

Officer Safety Principle: Know that God is never caught unaware of your brokenness and He will never leave you.

from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!