Two days ago one of my two rabbits gave birth; the baby was stillborn. I prayed over that baby bunny for over 3 hours, and even my 3-, 5-, and 7-year-old granddaughters and stepdaughter joined me at points. Late that evening, God told me to move on from praying for the bunny, and that while I WOULD raise the dead, it wouldn’t be then, the day after, or the day after that. This really struck me because God didn’t just specify that the bunny wouldn’t come back that day or the next, but he specified three days, the usual length of time that I allot for praying for our animals who have died (we have rabbits and chickens), and for any roadkill that I decide to bring home to pray for.
I was pretty upset after God told me this. I had already named the cute little bunny Miracle, and had already envisioned how cool it would be to have the rabbit grow up to be an adult when it had been born dead. I will be honest–I sobbed in my wife’s arms for about 5 minutes. On the one hand it might seem like “just a dead baby rabbit,” but for me death is something personal. As a nurse who works with a geriatric population, I cry almost every time a patient dies, whether I knew them well or not. Death bothers me. It upsets me. I don’t like it, don’t believe in it, and don’t understand when the reality of abundant life Jesus purchased for us doesn’t manifest like it should.
My point in telling you all this isn’t for you to feel sorry for me or pray for the bunny, but to know that it’s totally normal and okay to have real-life struggles as we go through this process of apprehending what God has laid before us. Reversing death is not something most people talk about or even believe is possible. Resurrection isn’t even all that popular in many Holy-Spirit-filled circles. I mean, anyone would be blessed if they were present for a resurrection, but it’s not something most people are going to actually pray for, much less seek out. As such, there is a risk involved in actually even talking about this topic.
Resurrection is not always an easy topic, and praying for the dead is even harder, not because it’s difficult to actually say a prayer over a body, but for other reasons. Emotionally there is the risk of failure. What happens if I get emotionally invested in this resurrection and it doesn’t happen? I assure you I am emotionally invested in every resurrection I seriously attempt. I’m not sure it’s actually possible to seriously pray for resurrection WITHOUT getting emotionally involved. Maybe it is, but for me resurrection has a lot to do with love and compassion, and compassion has a feeling associated with it. Compassion IS by nature emotionally involved, which can make it difficult in those times when the resurrection effort fails. Lets face it, sometimes we get discouraged, or even others around us actively discourage us. Sometimes we get into doubt or fear; fear that we might die too, fear that we might catch a disease from the body, fear of almost anything else. I believe that all of these things are part of the process of overcoming. We experience these doubts, fears, discouragement, and yet in the midst of them we have the opportunity to make a conscious choice in our hearts and minds that say “I am an overcomer because of He who has overcome.”
I want to encourage you and remind you that YOU are a Deadraiser. YOU are a Resurrectionist!! YOU are the bridge between Heaven and Earth, the delivery system of Divine power and presence. YOU are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Whatever you are facing, whatever sickness or death you are praying over, contending against, dealing with, I exhort you to continue to stand firm in the promises of God. You are strong, you are courageous, you are beautiful. You are steadfast, you are brilliant, and your best moments are even now coming toward you. Greater is He who is in YOU than any life circumstance around you. And remember, it is never “too late.” We serve a God who raises the dead.