Have you ever been in this place where you know God could have stopped this thing from happening, but he didn’t? Maybe you’re in that place right now. Why didn’t God step in and stop this? If he knew about it, and if he cared about it, why did he allow it?
As a person of faith, I believe God ultimately uses all things together for good as Romans 8:28 tells us, but what about right now? Do we have to wait for heaven for the good?
Scripture tells us of 2 women who knew God was capable of anything, yet they were disappointed Jesus hadn’t showed up in time for them. They was disappointed that they would have to wait until heaven for this to be right again. But they didn’t know Jesus was on his way at that very moment … a moment that already seemed too late. Here we learn NOTHING is too far gone when Jesus shows up. And guess what, Jesus is on his way!
Mary, Martha and Lazarus were all siblings. Jesus knew them and loved them. He had spent time with them and considered them friends. Lazarus became sick and while Jesus knew the sickness was so bad it would kill him, he waited to go. Seriously, that’s what it says. John 11:6 “When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days”
Jesus waited. He didn’t show up and stop the sickness. He didn’t step in when we think he should have. So Lazarus died. When Jesus finally shows up, Lazarus had been buried for 4 days.
In verse 21, Martha runs to meet Jesus at the gate and she says ““Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
But Jesus was late, and the worst had happened. He didn’t stop it from happening.
Do you feel like Jesus could have stopped this from happening in your life, but he didn’t? Do you question why he allowed that to happen when you know he had the power to step in and protect you?
That’s how Martha felt. Jesus, you could have stopped this, but you didn’t show up when I called for you. Now, Lazarus is dead and we’ve all been mourning for 4 days. Have you only come to cry with us? Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha says ““I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
But Jesus wasn’t talking about some day, Jesus was talking about TODAY. He was here NOW. And when Jesus is on the scene, impossible things happen NOW. What seems too far gone is in perfect alignment for God’s power to be displayed.
Hey, you know your too far gone … your ‘God, where were you when this happened’… well, you’re about to see what happens when God is here now. Understand, it wasn’t that he was unaware before, it wasn’t that he was too busy, but he waited for reasons you cannot understand, but now you’re about to see.
Now the other sister, Mary shows up to the gate where Martha is talking to Jesus. In verse 32 it says “When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Again, Jesus, why weren’t you here to stop this? We know you could have, but you didn’t. Word for word, she said the same exact thing her sister Martha did. You could have, but you didn’t!
Jesus replied, ““Where have you laid him?” And then, “Jesus Wept.”
Jesus cried. He hurt over their hurt. All while he knew of his own plan to raise Lazarus, he still hurt with them. Please my sister, you have to know, Jesus cries with you. While you’re still in this season of it not being okay and wondering why he allowed this to happen, he cries with you. He has all the power in the world to make things happen, and he’s about to do it, but know first, he takes the time to hurt with you.
That’s our Jesus!
Now at the tomb where Lazarus had been buried for 4 days, verses 39-44:
“Take away the stone,” Jesus said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.” …
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
My sister, I don’t understand why Jesus waited to show up. I don’t understand why he allows some things to happen the way they do, but I know this, when Jesus shows up, none of that matters. He can and will do the impossible for you. And this is what you need to know today, JESUS IS HERE NOW.
No, he didn’t stop it from happening, but now he’s going to do the impossible through it. Now you’re going to see his power at work in a way you never imagined possible. What seemed too far gone before, you will now see is a perfect alignment for God’s power to be displayed.
Sometimes we don’t have to wait until heaven to see God’s great works. Sometimes he lets us see them right here, just like Mary and Martha. Sometimes Jesus comes and weeps with us, then he moves stones and brings things back to life that were way too far gone. Sometimes he gives you a story to tell of redemption and healing and purpose that would have never been possible without the unimaginable happening first.
It’s not too late … like Martha, run to the gate and meet Jesus here. Jesus, I’m disappointed that you didn’t show up earlier, but you’re here now and I’m believing with every ounce of me that your power can turn this around for something good.
I don’t know what day of crying you’re on. Maybe it’s day 4, maybe it’s year 4, maybe it’s far past that, but I know this much for sure, Jesus knew about it when it happened, he has cared about it every day since, and he’s here to unleash his power now.
God is working in the unseen to do things you cannot imagine. Lazarus was being healed inside the tomb, still wrapped in grave clothes. No one could see that movement on the outside, it was happening inside.
There are things happening inside right now that you cannot see Sis! Behind those walls you cannot penetrate on your own, something is happening. Behind those doors you have knocked on for so long, yet they won’t open, something is happening. Eyes are being opened, hearts are being moved, lives are being restored, lies are being removed and truths are being received.
Believe it, even when you can’t see it.
And when Jesus says now is the time, you will see what he had planned all along. Oh yes he cared. He cared about you so much that he’s been working on this for you. Now, you get to see!
I have some things in my life that make me question why God allowed it. I’m on year 7 of wondering why he didn’t just step in and stop it, because the domino effect of pain and darkness has been so destructive in lives full of potential. But I know Jesus is working in the unseen. I know he cared that day, and he has cared every single day since. And I know when he says for that stone to be rolled away, I will see with my own eyes his powerful work fulfilled.
Why did God allow this to happen in your life and in your family? How in the world is he going to turn this around? Those are questions to bring to him to the gate, just as Mary and Martha did. He can handle your disappointment. He can handle your frustration. And he can certainly handle your questions. Bring them. And let him show you what he has been doing.
That which seems too far gone, is in perfect alignment for God’s power to be displayed.