My friend, Briana Curran, shared the following article with her newsletter audience last month. Considering the challenges many of us go through, I wanted to share it with you. Though she’s a Texan, she and her Irish husband and two children are missionaries to the country of Ireland. She was hospitalized with Pancreatitis at the end of November 2019 and struggled to recover. She felt so bad that she was afraid she was going to die. A graveyard near their children’s school (see above photo) was a stark reminder that she didn’t want to die there and end up buried so far from all her family. So, in March of 2020, she flew back to Texas to be near her family—barely arriving in the States before the airlines shut down completely because of COVID-19. That was just the beginning of a long and terrible journey of cancelled doctor’s appointments and surgeries, COVID tests and quarantine, sleeplessness, suicidal thoughts, family drama, visa expiration, desperate prayers, and many tears. But after four months of intense spiritual warfare, Briana experienced a supernatural breakthrough. In June of 2020, God made it possible for her to finally have her gallbladder removed. From there she recovered mentally and physically at a rate only God could accomplish! Please be encouraged by this article!
“I was here that Jesus reached out to me in my absolute despair. I was contemplating my own funeral and thought I might not live to tell about it. But He still cared for me and had compassion on me through the whole ordeal. I was not faithful to Him through all of it but He was faithful to me!” – Briana Curran
All funerals are bleak. But the one we read about in Luke 7:11–16 was especially disheartening. The Scripture says the man who’d just died was the only son of a widow. If you were a widow in those days, you were basically broke. Legally, you couldn’t own property or a business. You were dependent on relatives. Most directly, your son, if you were lucky enough to have one. If you didn’t have a son or if he died, then you were destined for certain poverty and dismay. That’s what this widow was facing. Her husband had died, and now her only son was dead. She had a broken heart and a grim future.
But then Jesus stepped into the situation. Straightaway, he did something about the dire situation. He walked up to the stretcher and held on to it, enough so that those carrying the stretcher stood still. The funeral procession instantly ground to a halt. That’s when Jesus spoke to a dead man and told him to get up. It all happened so quickly. Scripture describes how the dead man rose up and began to talk. Then Jesus gave him back to his mother.
I love that there’s an exclamation point in the Bible right then. “Get up!” Jesus was reaching with his power and authority into death and commanding that which was dead to be alive again. Jesus wasn’t merely hoping something good would happen. He was giving death an order. “Death, you don’t have the power here. I have the power. You will obey!” Immediately the young man sat up. Can you picture that? The graveclothes came loose, and he pawed at the coverings around his eyes. It was like a zombie movie, except this guy wasn’t a member of the living dead. He was completely alive, fully restored and made healthy again.
That’s the same word Jesus is saying to you now, the same word he said to that young man. “Get up!” Even though the enemy wants to bury you, Jesus is in the habit of interrupting funerals. He intersected the one in Nain as well as several others during his ministry, and he can intersect yours with the intentionality and power of the one who raises the dead.
The message of the gospel is that Jesus loves to interrupt funerals. In Jesus’ hands, he turns stretchers into worship celebrations. He grabs hold of your stretcher and tells you to live again. God wants to touch your life and use your life to raise up hope for your generation. It’s time to let Jesus shine his light of truth and mercy and grace and healing on you. It’s time for you to get off your stretcher and walk back into town. It may be that the people who knew you best will stare at you in astonishment and exclaim, “What happened to you?” because they can’t believe it. They knew you were heading for the cemetery. But Jesus’ message is that there isn’t going to be a funeral today. He’s the God of the comeback. Let him touch you and heal you and turn your life around.
“Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother” (Luke 7:14-15, NKJV)
(Excerpt from The Comeback: It’s Not Too Late and You’re Never Too Far by Louie Giglio, Devotional in YouVersion)