In Our Suffering

John 11:3-6
Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.  When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.  Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.  When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.

Jesus loved them, yet He waited.  Jesus loved he who was sick, but He did not immediately go running to him or even heal him from afar.  There was something more to be accomplished through this, and Jesus’ apparent inaction was not evidence that He didn’t care or He didn’t love or He didn’t want Lazarus to live and be well.  It was evidence that God’s will must be done, even if it involved suffering and sickness and hardship.  It is evidence that God can be glorified through things we would rather avoid.  It is evidence that God’s timing doesn’t always match up with ours, but God is never too late.

Sometimes it can seem like maybe God doesn’t care, doesn’t love, doesn’t want to help, or that He isn’t going to do anything.  But if we are patient and wait on Him, we will see that He had a plan all along and perhaps a purpose for our situation that is bigger than us.  Perhaps others can benefit somehow, and importantly, God will be glorified through it all.  His greatness and power can be demonstrated.  If we don’t face those hard things, maybe God can’t come along and do something amazing in that to show us something about Him that we need to know.

Usually, we just want to be rid of our problems, free from all our suffering.  We want immediate relief and to not have to struggle through things.  But in those situations, God can work.  God can achieve something much bigger.  And it is worth it to trust Jesus and allow Him to do what He knows is best, since He has a much clearer and broader perspective on the situation.  We can get so narrowly focused on our own comfort or our own wants, but God is often more concerned with those important truths and lessons we can learn through the trials of life.

It is not uncaring or unloving for Jesus not to immediately solve every problem, soothe every hurt, fix every brokenness, heal every wound.  We just simply have to trust Him with those things—trust Him in the midst of the hurt, depend on His grace, count on His goodness and love, and have faith in His overall plan and purpose.  One of His purposes for our lives is to glorify Him, so may we let these kinds of experiences do just that.  Yes, it’s hard, and Jesus is not ignorant of that or callous toward us, so may we always remember that Jesus still loves us even if He lets us endure a painful situation.

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