Have you ever felt very alone in a difficult situation? Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t seem to be present? Have you ever said, “Where are you, Jesus?”
I think that Martha and Mary may have thought this when their brother Lazarus fell ill. Jesus wasn’t just an acquaintance of the family. The Bible says He loved them. They were close friends. Jesus had dined in their home.
But when Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother was ill, Jesus didn’t stop everything he was doing to rush to the side of his friend and heal him as he had done to so many others.
It is interesting to note that Jesus was not miles and miles away from Bethany where Lazarus lived, He was only about two miles away. He could have been their quickly, but he chose to stay in Jerusalem.
Lazarus was sick and then he died. Jesus didn’t even take the time to come to his friend’s funeral. Mary and Martha must have thought, “Where are you, Jesus? Why have you stayed away?”
I think we often think the same thing. We are hurting, and we feel alone, but where is Jesus? Why do we not feel His presence?
Jesus knew exactly what He was doing when he chose not to rush into Bethany. Martha wanted a healing and Jesus wanted a resurrection.
Jesus was waiting so that God would be glorified. He knew that a resurrection would be so much more powerful than a healing.
There are times when Jesus may not seem to answer our pleas. It is important that we understand that His timing is perfect. His delay may be what is needed in our lives for Him to be glorified.
James 1:2-4 tells us this about growing from our trials – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:12 says – Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Romans 5:3-5 further says – Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Jesus is always present, even if we don’t feel His presence. But Jesus may allow sufferings to bring us to a place we may never reach without that suffering. I can personally attest that my greatest spiritual growth has come during my most difficult trials.
Remember this, just as Martha was looking for a healing and Jesus was planning a resurrection, God may be doing great things in your life during your most difficult trials.
© 2018 by Marlys Popma
The Christian Conservative
Used with permission.