“Watch Out For Nasty Stuff Behind Rocks”

Once I turned over a rock and a snake poked his head out of a hole under it. I think it was a coral snake. I’m not sure because I didn’t wait to ask him his national origins.

Another time I was fishing in the waters of a river that had overflowed its banks. Tiny islands of land protruded from the water, so I took off my shoes, rolled up my pants legs and waded out to one. The better to entice a big bass, you see.

There were several rocks on this tiny land protrusion. After several fruitless casts of my rod and reel, for some reason, I picked up one of those rocks and there was a critter underneath.

A scorpion!

I reached for another rock to send him to wherever scorpions go where they die. There were three scorpions under that rock. Evidently, they were taking refuge from the rising water.

I saw several rocks around me and I reflected about one second before I decided to donate that piece of earth to the scorpions. I beat a hasty retreat to the bank.

Be careful when you pick up a rock because there is no telling what’s under it. Things that bite and sting hide hang out there.

Nasty Stuff In Us

And people sometimes put dead things behind rocks. At least in the old days they did.

That’s what happened to Lazarus.

Lazarus’ sisters had sent an SOS to Jesus asking Him to come heal their brother, but it seemed the Lord had showed up late.  Lazarus lay dead behind a rock. His sister Martha said of him, “He stinketh.” That’s the King James version and I like it because “stinketh” sounds more impressive to me than simply, “he stinks.”

Either way, he was dead and smelling. And a lot of hope died with him.

The sisters had hoped for a miraculous healing, but their hopes lay reeking behind a rock. Some of us have had similar experiences. Smelly hopes fester in a corner of our lives that no one can see. Embarrassing acts are dead and buried. Abuse that we’ve suffered or inflicted on others infect these unseen corners.

Unanswered prayers contaminate our faith with a big, “Why?”

We’ve walled up many things, then went on with our lives. One problem remains: they stinketh. Though no one else sees, they’re still polluting our lives—pain, doubt and fear fester behind those stones.

Jesus told Martha: ““Take the stone away.” (NLT)

But, it’s embarrassing to have our smelly problems out in the open. That’s why we buried them in the first place. Often the first steps to healing is bringing them out of hiding and saying, “I’m hurting. I need help.”

James told us, “Tell your sins to each other. And pray for each other so you may be healed. The prayer from the heart of a man right with God has much power.” (James 5:16 NLT)

You don’t need to stand up and announce your problem at the prayer meeting. Some of those people aren’t strong enough to handle it. And some of them are gossips. (Gossips at the prayer meeting, David? No!)

Speak with your pastor or a trusted friend, someone who knows how to listen, counsel and pray. There’s healing there.

Look to Jesus. He will heal that hurt. It may be a process, but get that stinking thing out of your life or the infection may destroy you.

“’Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’”

You’ve got to move that rock. Martha could have blown up the whole process by saying, “No, leave the rock where it is. Let the dead stay dead. I don’t believe it can be different.”

What are you going to do with your dead stuff?

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Hmmm …

“He actually gives us an anointing in the area we used to be a victim to. He turns that into our ministry. Our vengeance on the enemy is to set other people free from the very thing he victimized us with.” Calming the Storm Within: How to Find Peace in This Chaotic World (Jim Lange)

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