“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21)
There are moments when we wonder where God is. If only He showed up in the situation, then things wouldn’t have turned out the way that they did… I wouldn’t have lost my job… my loved one wouldn’t have died… the accident wouldn’t have happened… things would be different. But since God didn’t show up and things didn’t turn out the way that you hoped, you may have concluded that God didn’t care and that He was either non-existent or disinterested in your situation. That’s how Mary and Martha felt when their brother Lazarus died. After all, Jesus had showed up for countless other people who weren’t even His friends, but when His friend needed help, Jesus was nowhere to be found. In fact, He even took His sweet little time getting coming to Lazarus’ aid. But Jesus used the opportunity to teach His friends some things about God.
First, God doesn’t withhold anything good from His people. If you feel that God is withholding something good from you, then you’re not seeing the situation from His perspective. If you did see it from His perspective, then you would realize that He’s only looking out for your best interest. Secondly, times of trial lead to trust. Jesus wanted His friends to trust Him more fully. The experience with Lazarus paved the way for that to happen. In fact, after Lazarus was brought back to life, so many people were putting their faith in Jesus that the authorities sought to put Lazarus to death again!
The next time you have a situation where God seems absent, remind yourself that God isn’t withholding anything good from you. And then consider how God may be using this experience to build your trust in Him. You will soon find that the One who gave His only Son for you is fighting for a relationship with you.
Father, in times when I don’t understand why You allow things to happen, please let my natural reaction be to trust You. Instead of letting my uncertainty build a wedge between us, let it be a means of deepening my relationship with You. Thank You that You work all things together for my good – even when they don’t make sense!