Are you facing what seems to be a hopeless situation? Have you prayed for deliverance, yet feel like you’ve been abandoned? Does it look like there is no way out of the trouble you are facing? Don’t give up, you are still in God’s perfect timing! He works in ways we cannot see, and gives us the opportunity to bring honor to Him. He is never late and He doesn’t make mistakes. Even when facing heartbreaking loss, our Father has made a way through Jesus Christ to have everlasting life. Let’s look at a situation where all seemed lost and two sisters felt as though Jesus had abandoned them and their brother.
John 11 “Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 4 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. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.”
Through the lens of Mary and Martha, it looked as though they were not very important because Jesus did not come right away. We also see that the scripture plainly states in verse 5 that Jesus loved them. We must be careful to not allow doubt to creep in when things go wrong or the unexpected happens. Too often our first thought is that God doesn’t love us or we are being punished for something. When trouble comes, we must not be quick to grumble and complain, but find a way to see it as an opportunity to honor our Lord and Savior.
The delay of Jesus had a specific purpose. Mary and Martha did not know what that purpose was and I completely understand their confusion and sorrow. I also know that God has always been faithful and as I read of the many miracles that Jesus performed, my faith is increased because I know he loves you and I just as much as he loved Mary and Martha. We all see troubles and strife, but we don’t all view it the same way. Jesus told us in John 16:33 that we would have tribulation as long as we’re in this world, but he offers us hope and deliverance. God can bring good out of any situation, but sometimes we give up too quickly because our vision is clouded by doubt and we think there is no way out. This can be true of physical sickness, addiction, emotional trauma, financial problems, and even dealing with the shame of our past. Mary and Martha, even as Jesus was going to call Lazarus from the grave, feared the decaying flesh and rotten smell that the tomb would produce (v.39) — but it was not as they thought.
No matter what cruelty and sorrow this life has thrown at you, or the vile things you think are beyond resurrection, God can make a way! Tell Him your cares and concerns then watch and wait for your answer. Don’t let the enemy tell you He’s not coming or that He does not love you! He is on the way!
I pray, “Father, forgive my anger and doubt. I’ve been looking for You to work in ways that I want, but I know you have a plan and are working even now. I know my prayer has been heard. Let me bring You glory and honor as I wait, and help me encourage others with my testimony. In Jesus’ name I ask, amen.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.