There’s something about a trip that really excites me. Whether I’ve been to the destination before or not, whether it’ll only last a few hours or whether I stay for days. I just like going places and seeing things and meeting people or meeting up with people. And I love the ride there. Listening to music in a car and shouting the words or having conversations with someone and seeing all of these people who are on the road with you, who are on their own journeys. Scenic views and snack decisions at gas stations and maybe kicking your shoes off in the car. I find it all very exciting.
Jesus’s entire ministry is one big journey, but in Luke 7:11-17, Jesus and His crew go to a town called Nain, where they happen upon a funeral procession. The funeral is for a young man. Jesus approaches his mother, who’s a widow, and tells her not to weep. Then he tells the dead man to rise, and he does. He starts speaking, and everyone in the crowd is scared. Then they glorify God.
Dramatic and impressive, right?
We have a woman who is looking at the beginning of a lonely road. She’s lost her husband and now her only son. In terms of hope, she’s dead. She probably feels like her world’s ending.
Then we have a guy whose world has literally ended. We don’t know much about this man – not his name, his age, or his cause of death. What we do know is that he must have been loved because there was a crowd traveling with his body to its grave.
It’s fairly safe to say that this journey, this trip to this man’s final resting place, started off badly. But then Jesus steps in, and everything changes.
The guy wakes up like he was only asleep. He starts talking like it’s an everyday thing. (Personally, I would love to know what he said. Did he say he was thirsty? Did he ask where he was? Did he comment on whether or not he saw heaven? I’ll file it under “Things to Ask When I Get to Heaven.”) As much as this man’s journey began badly, it ended happily.
If you ask me, this is classic Jesus. I see this as something that could happen any and every day. Not necessarily someone having breath put back into their lungs and sitting up in their casket, but certainly changing from death to life on their journey.
Alan said on Sunday that it’s about our ending, not our beginning, and he’s absolutely right because we all start at the same place. We all start with a life of sin destined for death. It doesn’t matter what your poison is because we’re all poisoned. And it doesn’t matter how much poison you have in your system because even one drop of it is enough. All of our journeys start off badly.
And if we stay where we are, if we don’t move forward, that’s where it’ll end. If you are in a bad place and never do anything to change it, you’ll stay there.
In the words of Relient K, “We all struggle with forward motion.” It’s easy to get stuck in a certain mindset, a routine, an emotion, or a season of life. But if we don’t make any sort of move to get out of whatever ruts we find ourselves in, our journey will be a circle and we’ll end where we began. Circles don’t move you forward, they only move you around.
Jesus can change your journey in an instant. He can take you from death to life so simply and beautifully that you’ll never be the same.
Maybe your journey has already taken a turn for the best. Maybe it hasn’t. If it hasn’t, I hope and pray that it does. Because journeys are beautiful and fun, and I think you would really like the change of scenery at your new destination.
By Carrie Prevette