You probably know the story of Lazarus in John 11. I don’t think this account is only about a man being raised from the dead, I think it is a story about his sisters’ inner struggles.
Martha and Mary would probably have been leaders if they were around today. Mary was a devoted worshipper and Martha loved to serve. They and their brother were close to Jesus so He was the first person the ladies called when Lazarus was sick.
But rather than rushing to their brother’s bedside, Jesus delayed. Not just a couple of hours, but two days. While they waited, Lazarus died. When the Lord eventually reached their home, the women were broken-hearted.
Not only had they lost Lazarus, but they couldn’t understand why Jesus hadn’t come. The first words that came out of both of their mouths when they first saw Jesus, were: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:21, 32
I don’t think it was a coincidence that they said the exact same thing. I’m sure they agonised as they talked in the hours and days after Lazarus died. “Why didn’t He come when we called?”, “What did we do wrong?” “He is the Healer and yet our brother is dead”.
They were bewildered. After all, they loved the Lord with all their hearts. They gave their best in worship and service. So why did this horrible thing happen to them?
I don’t know what you have gone through or what has happened in your life. But I do know that “Man is born to trouble” (Job 5:7) so I am sure you have been through some terribly painful periods. You may even be there right now.
One of the things that can make tough times even harder is when we don’t know what went wrong, when we can’t countenance why.
In the weeks and months after our two year old daughter died, one of the things that troubled me most was that I just couldn’t understand why our little girl had died. I remember saying that I would be able to start to heal when God revealed why she had gone.
For months, I felt tormented by that question. Just like Martha and Mary, I was stuck. Then God started to show me that “Why?” asked at the wrong time only ever leads to confusion. As long as I was preoccupied with finding an answer, I felt trapped by the torment.
Then I sensed Him asking me a question: “Jo, would there ever be a good enough reason why your little princess died?” I realised that no answer would ever be enough and in that moment I realised that it was time to let go. As I gave up my right to know, confusion lifted and my healing began.
Jesus had a miracle in store for Martha and Mary that was far greater than healing. When they got past confusion, they saw a resurrection! I got an amazing miracle too: God completely healed my heart. And I got a special reward too: a ministry to bring healing to the broken. But I had to lay down my questions to find real answers.
His plans for you are to prosper you, to give you a hope and a bright future. If you will lay down your questions, you will position yourself for a new season of restoration. Tell God in prayer that you trust Him. Lay down any questions causing confusion and ask Him to heal your heart.
If you are at all dry or discouraged, I encourage you to get hold of our books and come along to Healed for Life. It will take you on an incredible journey to security and peace. You will leave refreshed, restored and more ready than ever to fulfil your God-given destiny.