Life here on Earth can be messy, painful, and stressful. We will all experience some form of struggle during our lives. Of course we know that there can be such joy in our lives, but those bad times can be so incredibly difficult.
We as Christian’s know in our minds that God is there, but in these hard situations sometimes it can feel like God is so far away in the physical here and now.
In all honesty, no matter how often we feel God’s hand in and on a situation there are those other times when He lets our situations grow into a seemingly impossible circumstance. It’s in these times of trial and hardship that we (I know I can’t be the only one) sometimes ask the Father why He would allow this thing to happen to us.
Why do we ask this? I don’t actually believe it is from a lack of faith, but rather because we know who God is, the all-powerful, all-knowing, loving Father- we want Him to intervene in our circumstances and help us.
Unfortunately this can be where the aforementioned lack of faith comes in. When God happens to decide not to answer our prayer the way we requested or expect, we can begin to doubt.
The thing we have to realize, though, is that God sees things on a much bigger (and let’s face it- a much farther) scale than we do. He is not bound by our time table, and certainly not required to conform to our expectations. If He did this He would not be Master, but servant only. Does He love us? Absolutely! Does He want what’s best for us? Always. This means though that what’s best for us isn’t always what we expect.
I have heard people call God callous or heartless because of something very difficult that has happened to them. God is never to blame for what we go through, and yet He loves us so much. He doesn’t want us to struggle or to be in pain. He cares for us.
Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are?”
I believe that God allows us to experience some of these terrible things so that we truly believe in His power and love for us.
This brings to my mind the story of Lazarus in John 11. A short time before His crucifixion Jesus was sent a message that His dear friend Lazarus was very sick. His friends sister’s, Mary and Martha were expecting Him (Jesus) to rush to their house and heal their brother.
He said in John 11:4-6 “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”Now Jesus loves Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days.”
So instead of rushing to His friends side, He waited two more days. Why did He do this?
He explains in John 11:14 “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
When Christ finally makes it to Mary and Martha’s home, He discovers that their brother had been dead for four days. Mary is understandably upset, and while crying told Jesus that if He had been there, Lazarus would be alive.
Her belief wasn’t an issue. She knew already that Jesus had the power to intervene and heal her brother. I am almost positive that she was hurt, confused, and heartbroken that Jesus didn’t seem to have cared enough about her family and arrive in time to save Lazarus.
However, Jesus identified and understood her pain, after all- Lazarus was His dear friend.
John 11:33-35 “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” He asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept.”
By this time Lazarus’ sisters, and the people who had gathered had to have expected that this was the end of it. However, it was then that Jesus chose to act and miraculously brought Lazarus back to life! Through this action He not only showed them His love, but also revealed Himself as Messiah. He chose to do this in this manner so that they would not just know who He was in their minds, but also experienced a life-changing event and believed in His power and love.
It would have been easy for Jesus to heal Lazarus, in fact I’m sure He wanted to. However, by choosing to wait He was able to truly show His power, and gave them faith that no matter what they went through they could trust that He was going to be there for them.
Are you going through a difficult or seemingly impossible circumstance? I just want you to know that Jesus is always there for you, no matter how dark it may seem. He wants to comfort you in the midst of your suffering, and wants to do something amazing for you. It may not be in the way we expect, but His plan has always and will always be better than our own.
He promises to always be there for us, and that He will never leave us. We are not alone. What an absolute comfort!