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Mary Pedersen contemplates the story of the raising of Lazarus and how, even now, all things are possible with God.

Even now? What? Lazarus’ body had been dead for four days, sealed in a tomb. Martha could have met Jesus with anger or in a puddle of grief and doubt. Yet she greets Him and has the audacity to blurt out,

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. [But] even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you” (John 11:21,22, emphasis mine). 


Even now? When Lazarus’ body had decayed? What of the rot? The stench? The seal of the tomb? The horror of it all? 

Yet Martha’s faith supersedes physical evidence when she declares: “Even Now.”  

She could easily have remained in the state of mourning—the place of death, dashed dreams, failed hopes—with her first statement, “Lord, if you had been here.” Instead, she persists with complete trust in Him, “[But] even now.” 

Retired and helping to care for my husband, I began taking an inventory of my life. Soon, I had created a long list of “If only.” If only I had said “yes” to that invitation, if only I had done this, if only I had said “no” to that, if only I had continued with that project. If only. If only. Soon, I had a dozen “If only” on my list. My mind was overwhelmed by the “if only.” 

My heart was downtrodden by my failures and mis-steps—all my if “onlys”. 

A spiritual advisor had given me a book, The Wonder Switch, written by Christian magician Harris III. As I read, I kept wondering why he had chosen this book for me. I read and read again—with no wonder. And then the switch flipped. The author challenges readers to flip their thinking, from a past, “If only” to a future, “What if?”

When we reawaken our wonder, we’re permitted to shift to forward-looking "what-ifs"... . "What if I tried something new?" (p. 105) 


What if? What if there is new life ahead? What if wisdom comes with age? What if hard earned wisdom is valued? What if the Spirit infuses me with a deeper spirituality, innovative ideas, and fresh paths?  

What if God has plans for my life? Even now! 




And then, when preparing for a retreat on Martha and Mary, I read, “If [only] you had been here.” The “if” that was all too familiar in my life. The next words smacked me between my eyes: “[But] EVEN NOW.” Even now? What if? Of course. With God, anything is possible. The dead are raised. Water becomes wine. Wine transforms into His Blood.  

Even NOW, anything is possible. Not with magic, but through Christ, “if only” transforms into “even now.” 

Even now, faced with all the evidence. Even now, whether we’re too old or too young. Even now, God can use us through sickness or infirmities. Even now, new opportunities are opened for us to serve Him. Even now, new life!  

The prophet Ezekiel saw dry bones on the floor of a valley, “bones that were very dry” (Ezekiel 37:11). And then Ezekiel heard the Lord speak to the bones, “I will put my breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 37: 6). Ezekiel understood the power of God, even now!  

Even now, with all our sins, wanderings, weaknesses, and failures, we can return to Him. Even now, He can use us—breathe new life into us! 

Even now! It’s NEVER too late with Jesus!  


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Even now, anything is possible. Not with magic, but through Christ, "if only" transforms into "even now." #CatholicMom

Ninety-five-year-old Effie greeted each person who entered the nursing home—the one with a reputation of being the worst and the saddest place in town. But Effie, confined to a wheelchair, imprisoned by a brace wrapped around her chest, up to her neck, greeted each visitor with a smile. One day, when entering, I remarked, “Effie, you are something else, greeting everyone with your beautiful smile.” She replied, “I promised Jesus a long time ago, I would be His light wherever I was.” Even now, a bright light! 

She was only fourteen when we met in a flower shop. Born with infirmities, she was slow in speech and walked with a cane. When I asked her name, her blue eyes sparkled as she threw her head back and laughed in delight. “Can you believe it? My parents named me Joy. They knew I would bring joy to everyone I met.” And she did! Even now, a joy to others. 

Even now, with our wasted time, missed opportunities, and failures. Even now, whether too old or too young. 

Mary, who chose the better part, stayed home after her brother had died and was entombed. Perhaps in sorrow or in absolute trust of Jesus’ love. But Martha, this time appearing so brave, not caring one hoot about cleaning the house, runs to greet Jesus in her grief.  

With faith, far beyond imagining, Martha speaks with confidence, “[But] even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you” (John 11:22). And her faith was rewarded as Jesus cried out, “Lazarus, come out” (John 11:43). Even now! 

Reflection Question: How is God calling you, even now? 



Copyright 2023 Mary Pedersen
Images: Canva