Do you want to know a troubling set of verses about God’s love? They’re in John 11. John tells us, “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.” And Lazarus died. Jesus chose not to heal Lazarus right away and He called it love.
I don’t know about you, but that’s tough for me to swallow. Jesus’ actions do not look like the fragile, egg-shell-walking, chick-flick love plastered everywhere we look.
It would be nice, don’t you think, if God’s love meant he would protect us from all hurt and pain the instant we became uncomfortable. But that is a shallow love, thinking only about the moment and nothing about the future.
Could it be that God values a thriving, deep relationship with us over keeping our lives painless?
Jesus told His disciples, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe” (John 11:14-15). Because of Lazarus’ death, Jesus was able to raise him from the dead—and then many believed in Jesus.
The belief—the good—came out of the pain.
Maybe, like Mary and Martha, you’ve petitioned Jesus but He isn’t making changes as fast as you had hoped and now (it looks like) it’s too late. But don’t give up!
If so, I’m sure there’s a story to go with it, and I’d love to hear it. Email me, or share it in the comments! It will be an encouragement to us all!
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