There are times when God does things that just don't make sense. In the case of Lazarus' death, we learn that Jesus tarried at coming to his aid because of His love for Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. In our minds, it would make sense for Jesus to rush to Lazarus' aid because of his love rather than to waste time. The lesson for us is that we don't always know what's best for us, but the Lord does. Jesus was using this opportunity to teach some important lessons to His followers, and He taught them the lessons because He loved them. Sometimes the loving thing to do isn't what you might expect. Parents experience this on an ongoing basis: punishing children for misbehavior is the loving thing to do if a parent wants the children to learn good behavior. Is it easy? By no means. Even Jesus, when he saw the place of Lazarus' tomb, was brought to tears – an emotion that could have been avoided if Jesus had rushed to his aid. Love isn't always easy, and it doesn't always make sense. Sometimes it's painful, and the gratification is delayed. But in the end, it is good.
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.