November 6, 2017
I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. John 11:25
Like the rest of America, I am in total shock! Grief! Tears seem to come and go unexpectedly throughout the day. A heart that doesn’t stop aching for the family members and friends of those massacred in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. When I awaken during the night, I’m aware that my spirit has been praying for them even as I sleep. During the day I find myself praying for them without ceasing.
Why? Why, dear God, would You allow something so horrific to take place? In a church? So evil. So senseless. So terrifying. Help me understand.
In answer to my heart’s cry, John 11 came to mind. Mary and Martha had sent word to Jesus that their brother Lazarus was sick. Implied was a desperate plea for help. But Jesus stayed where He was for four days. And Lazarus died. When Jesus did show up, Mary and Martha responded like many I have read on social media following the Texas massacre: Why didn’t You come when we asked? If prayer worked, Lazarus wouldn’t be dead. You’re late! Although I’ve paraphrased what they actually said, that was their meaning.
And then Jesus gave them, and us, a radical perspective. And it’s this. Life is about more than temporary safety, health, happiness, prosperity. It’s about a relationship with Him that transcends those things. He never, ever has promised to protect us from suffering, pain, and death. But He has promised to be with us and bring us through…when we place our faith in Him.
Standing at Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus challenged Martha, Do you believe this? Martha affirmed, Yes, Lord. I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God.
Then Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. The simple answer to my why question is this: Trust Jesus when I don’t understand. His ways are not my ways. He is accomplishing a greater purpose. I just have to trust His heart of love to do what’s best. Trust Him.
For more about trusting God when you don’t understand: Why? (paperback) by Anne Graham Lotz (This small book will help you understand and deal with suffering by leading you to the One Who knows your needs, shares your grief, sheds your tears and promises glory to come! Based on John 11. Foreward by Joni Eareckson Tada)