“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So on hearing that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was for two day (John 11:5-6).”
This morning as I read this verse during my quiet time, I was struck by the seemingly contradiction taking place here.
When Jesus hears that the one he loves is sick, he STAYS RIGHT WHERE HE IS.
When my kids are sick or when I hear someone I love is sick, my first instinct is to get to them as quickly as possible, not to remain where I am.
This past Spring, when I got the news my dad had cancer, our family was still living in Nepal. One of the first things I did after praying for he and my mom, was to look online at plane tickets. When he began his first session of chemo, I again checked out ticket prices. I was ready to get on a plane and come right then and there, because the one I loved was sick.
Yet, here we find the opposite true for Jesus.
It’s one of those things that makes you go hmmmm?
A few weeks ago, I read about a similar contradiction. It was the time when Peter and the disciples were out on the lake at night in the storm. They were struggling and yet it says Jesus didn’t come until the 4th watch of the night.
Why not sooner, why wait?
Yet in both instances Jesus was doing what was best for those He loved, and for all who would see.
Had Jesus come immediately to Lazarus, He would have healed him, but this type of healing had been done time and time again by Jesus. So, He waited in order that He would be able to do far more than heal, He would be able to raise Lazarus from the dead.
Likewise, Jesus watched the disciples struggle and then came, not because He didn’t love them, but because He loved them and wanted to increase their faith.
When I want to teach my children something, I let them struggle it out. Like when our oldest was learning to tie his shoes. Often I would want to rush in and do it for him, but I had to force myself to let him struggle or he would never learn.
Likewise, God allows us to go through difficult times, not because He doesn’t love us (though the enemy would sure like to convince us otherwise). He allows us to struggle because He loves us, and He wants to teach us truths we would not learn otherwise.
He also allows us to struggle so that when He does step in, the Father gets all the credit and all the glory.
Many times as we go through the valleys of life, it appears the Lord is sleeping, or that He just doesn’t care. Yet, this could not be any farther from the truth. He sees and knows what we are dealing with. He understands and He cares deeply because anything that affects the ones He loves, affects Him.
Yet, He desires not to just jump in and fix our problems. He desires instead to teach us through the midst of our struggles, and to grow our faith.
And He desires that when all is said and done, that we be able to look back and see that He had it under control all along, and to work it all out in such a way that brings Him the most glory and praise.
I don’t know what you may be struggling with right now. But, maybe your’re wondering where Jesus is. Maybe you are believing the lie that He really must not love you, or that He doesn’t care.
Friend, take heart. These are lies straight from Hell itself.
He sees and He knows.
He loves you and is using the struggles you are undergoing for your good, and for His glory.
Trust Him despite the struggle.
Trust Him in the midst of the heartache.
Trust Him, and wait and see all the good He has in store for you.
God is love! There is no contradiction.
And though we may think we know better. We may believe He needs our help.
He alone is God, and we can put our hope and our trust in Him.