I have been engaged in a 40-day study of the Gospel According to John. I’ve reached Chapter 11 where Christ brings Lazarus back from the dead.

The devotional for this passage emphasized Jesus sharing in the mourning of Lazarus’ sisters Martha and Mary. I cannot emphasize how much passages like that mean to me- that we have a compassion Lord that shares our sorrows with us just as he did with Lazarus’ family.

But it was when I read the passage (John 11:1-57) in my Life Recovery Bible today.  The notes regarding John’s account bring up a slightly different angle: Christ has the power to bring us back to life, but our graveclothes have got to go.  Let me explain. If you’ve read my blog, you have read about some of my addictions. Perhaps I am taking more of a reformed theological approach to my plight, but I believe those addictions and other sinful behavior rendered my soul completely dead and incapable of choosing God even if I wanted to (which I didn’t). Like Lazarus, Jesus raised me from the dead. But, as Scripture said, Lazarus had been in the grave for four days by the time Christ arrived. Although I have no experience with dead bodies, I assume that the body and graveclothes of Lazarus were fairly ripe by then. It’s no wonder that Jesus’ first command after raising Lazarus from the dead was “Unwrap him and let him go!.”

I never thought that graveclothes could be allegorical for sins and addictions. But there is.

In taking the journey of recovery and doing it as a result of my new life in Christ has been difficult lately. I believed I knew what my problems were and what sins needed to be addressed when I started. But in learning to surrender my life to Jesus, I’ve come to realize that I had a lot more graveclothes than I thought I did. This led to frustration on my part

This led to frustration on my part. Frankly, that is one of the reasons I haven’t been writing lately. How silly this is. How could I honestly think that I would master all of my sins in the two months since becoming a Christian?

But as I was reminded by a couple of men who are turning out to be mentors, the process of sanctification will take the rest of my life.

One day at a time. One step at a time.