DON'T bother trying to fix things up-you blew it and you know it. (Is this sometimes how you feel?) That relationship is over. You flunked that test. That happy family life-well, someone else got to have it. When what's done is done, the chance to change things can seem lost forever. But I didn't write this to convince you it's too late. I don't believe it really is. Why?
Consider this story. A report arrives that a man has died and been buried. Four days later the man who received that report shows up at the grave and commands that the body be uncovered. They call this man Jesus, and they call the man who had been buried Lazarus. Jesus prays to God, and says, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always." And immediately after that, he commands, "Lazarus, come forth." And the Bible, where this story comes from, says, "And he that was dead came forth, bound head and foot with graveclothes" (John 11:41-44).
Actually, that's not just a story. It happened-one supreme proof that it's never too late for things to improve. It makes a lot of our day-to-day problems seem kind of small by comparison. But no matter. The lesson of that experience, in which Christ Jesus raised a man from death, is a practical one. That lesson is that we don't have to give up on something, or someone, because of what we see or hear, what we feel or fear.
According to one woman who dedicated her life to following the example of Jesus, not giving up has to do with understanding the truth. Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science in 1866. She wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "Jesus restored Lazarus by the understanding that Lazarus had never died, not by an admission that his body had died and then lived again. Had Jesus believed that Lazarus had lived or died in his body, the Master would have stood on the same plane of belief as those who buried the body, and he could not have resuscitated it" (p. 75).
No, it wasn't the power of a man that raised Lazarus. It was what Jesus knew was the truth. It was the power of God. Let's consider several things Jesus did at that moment-things you or I can do, too, if circumstances seem beyond repair in small or big ways. (Don't forget that Christian healing can relate to all kinds of human situations because there are spiritual laws behind it.)
Jesus looked to God first, not to the scene of weeping, mourning relatives at a grave site. Second, he thanked God before anything had happened at all. Then, he took command of the situation.
In any instance of trouble, you can look to God. He is good, He is always on your side, and good is the only power there is. Learning what Jesus knew and taught, you can trust God, even after a relationship seems to have died or your confidence is shot. Jesus naturally went to God even after he was told that Lazarus was dead, because he really understood that God was the Life of Lazarus.
Jesus thanked God. You can thank Him too, right in the middle of a problem. Thank Him for the goodness that characterizes Him and His creation. This thankfulness is important to have, even when you're really upset. The more you know about God, the more natural it is to be thankful to Him. But there's nothing wrong with simply saying, "Thank you, God" even when you're just overwhelmed and unsure. His power to bring good is just as infinite when you're afraid as it is when you're not.
Jesus commanded the situation at the grave. The Bible shows that he did this everywhere else he went as well. When you're feeling something is beyond hope, you might be tempted to do the opposite-give up on the whole thing and accept the bad results. Instead, seeing how Jesus helped Lazarus, we can see how to help ourselves in less drastic circumstances. It is possible to command any situation by bringing God's power to bear on it. Christian Science explains that a person must understand, if he or she wants to rely on God, that no one's life or happiness is at the mercy of human events, because we live in God.
And accepting these facts (because you understand them) will not keep you from having a normal life. It will only bring you a better one!