|Lazarus coming out by William Hole. Permission Bible Picture Gallery|
John 11:21 “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (NLT)
I couldn't help but wonder why I was laying in the hospital. Other than loving fried food and junk food, I was a pretty healthy eater. But here I was with a bleeding ulcer. Having just graduated Bible College and accepting a call to a new position, I wondered what purpose God was engineering in this snafu? It was certainly an undesirable interruption.
It took quite a few months to recuperate, so I had plenty of time to reflect on possible answers. It’s easier to look up when I'm on my back. So I decided to give it a try.
I was young and in success mode. Accomplishing as much as possible in a given day was important even if it meant neglecting family and friends. Perhaps God was saying, Slow down. So I did. I traded the urgent for the necessary and life improved drastically.
Have you ever asked God Why? Martha did in John 11:17-22. Her family was good friends with Jesus. When their brother got sick, they naturally sent for the healer. He lingered long enough for Lazarus to die. Jesus’ action appears insensitive. Martha seemed to think so too. She said, “Lord, if…” It didn’t make sense for a good friend to behave this way. He should have been there.
The news is full of occasions when God seems to show up late or doesn’t make sense: a popular teen football player falls dead with a heart attack, a young girl is raped, a child is abused by her step father, a house is lost to foreclosure, a son walks away from the faith, or the car breaks down before payday. But God does not say we will always understand or that we should use our ingenuity to solve the dilemma. He simply reminds us; “We live by believing and not by seeing.” (II Corinthians 5:7) Faith gives courage to walk where we cannot see and guts to trust when God’s actions appear irrational.
Father, when we can’t see by sight enable us to trust by faith.