walk in the word
God’s Character, Relying on God, Sin / Suffering / Satan
So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:20-21
I think my Bible has a misprint. John 11:6 says when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed away two days longer. Is that what your Bible says? He stayed away from Mary and Martha and Lazarus . . . longer?
Nobody does that. If you hear that someone you love is in trouble, you get over to them fast. Three times in the surrounding verses we read how deeply Jesus loved these three friends. So why did He stay away?
We can totally understand why Martha’s face had a big question mark, “Lord if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
This is the hardest moment in any crisis. From our perspective, the problem is growing, the prayers are rising, but the provision does not come. We draw a dotted line from delay to deception and conclude that God doesn’t love us and then spend many dark, disappointing nights believing our own lie.
Our Bibles don’t have a misprint. The truth is, God doesn’t love the way we love. What appears unloving may in fact be the greatest kindness of all. We expect God to work our solution on our timetable. Can you imagine the complexity of the tapestry God is weaving in the universe? We’re over here in our limited little corner without a clue about what’s going on in the bigger picture. Faith says that what God is doing is right—even when we don’t understand.
I believe the whole tapestry will unfold for us someday, but for now I have to trust that He is after my good and His glory in every situation. I must have faith that what appears unloving may in fact be His greatest kindness.
Take hold of this with both hands: God is at work in your times of crisis. Whatever is challenging and stretching you right now in your family, your workplace, or in your personal walk with God—He is at work in that. He is building your faith in every circumstance. He knows all about that thing that is breaking your heart. Will you believe He is at work?
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