TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9
So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met Him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
John 11:20-21 (ESV)
BREAKING THROUGH GRIEF: WHERE IS GOD?
In A View from the Zoo, Gary Richmond tells about the birth of a giraffe: The first things to emerge are the baby giraffe’s front hooves and head. A few minutes later the plucky newborn is hurled forth, falls ten feet, and lands on its back. Mother positions herself directly over the calf. She waits for about a minute, then she does the most unreasonable thing. She swings her long, pendulous leg outward and kicks her baby, so that it is sent sprawling head over heels. When it doesn’t get up, the violent process is repeated over and over again…..Finally, the calf stands for the first time on its wobbly legs. Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing. She kicks it off its feet again. Why? She wants it to remember how it got up! In the wild, baby giraffes must be able to get up as quickly as possible to stay with the herd, where there is safety. Lions, hyenas, leopards, and wild hunting dogs all enjoy young giraffes, and they’d get it too, if the mother didn’t teach her calf to get up quickly and get on with it!
In John 11, Mary and Martha feel like they have been punched in the gut by Jesus showing up 4 days too late to heal their brother. They want to know where God was when their brother was dying. This is a common question directed toward God when any of us are suffering from grief. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Max Lucado says, “The grave unearths our view of God. God if you existed my child wouldn’t have died, if you’d have answered my prayers my life wouldn’t be empty, if you cared my mother wouldn’t have developed cancer. Martha’s word is not one of reproach, but rather one of regret: ‘Lord, I wish you could have been here, because if you had, my brother would not have died.’”
Eventually, Jesus says to Martha, “I Am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live.” Jesus had a reason for not being there at the time of Lazarus’ death. And you and I can be assured, when it doesn’t seem like God is around, not only is He around, He is also at work. What has death revealed about your faith in Jesus and the resurrection?
Praise God for Jesus being greater than death and being our resurrection. Ask God to grow your faith in Him even in the face of death.