Who can fathom His ways?

I was confronted this morning with my own lack.  Not lack in resources per say, however my lack in understanding my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and His ways.

I know the scripture like the back of my hand:

9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. – Isa 55:9 NLT

It is a “nice” Bible verse, that as Christians, we throw around liberally…In fact, for the most part, many have a cerebral understanding of this passage.  BUT how many of us have a heart understanding?

Imagine yourself in this scenario:

Your brother has been sick for a fair amount of time, in fact, he is on his deathbed.  You, send word to Jesus that he is dieing, and if He doesn’t come quick, he will die.
Tragedy strikes.  Jesus doesn’t show up.  He neglected to come in your time of need, your brother dies.  He didn’t have to die, Jesus could have showed up and healed him, in fact He didn’t even have to come, He could have just spoken and declared from where He was, and your brother would have been made well.
Then, Jesus has the audacity to show up 4 days after your brother’s death…

IF this story sounds familiar, that’s because this is what happened to Mary and Martha…their brother Lazarus was sick, they sent word to Jesus, and then Lazarus dies.

It would be so easy to get angry and Jesus.  To blame him for the death.  Afterall, if He really is such a Good God, if He really does love, then why did He allow Lazarus to die?  In fact, Mary and Martha send this message to Jesus:

3 So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.” – Jhn 11:3 NLT

Lazarus was more than Mary and Martha’s brother, he was a dear friend to Jesus.

Jesus responds in a very interesting way to the disciples when word reaches them that Lazarus had died:

5 So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, 6 he stayed where he was for the next two days. … 14 So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.” – Jhn 11:5-6, 14-15 NLT

This seems like a cruel response by Jesus, if He really did love them, why would He put them through such pain?

The story continues:

20 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” … 27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” … 29 So Mary immediately went to him. … 32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. – Jhn 11:20-22, 27, 29, 32-33 NLT

Jesus was moved with a deep compassion.  There was something about the grieving hearts of those around Him, that pulled on Him and even provoked Him!

34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.”

35 Then Jesus wept.

36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” … 38 Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. 39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”

40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.”

43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” …

45 Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen. – Jhn 11:34-36, 38-43, 45 NLT

Let us allow the story to penetrate our hearts.  Did Jesus intend on letting Lazarus die, only so He could raise Him from the dead?  I do not know.  I cannot fathom or begin to understand His ways.

BUT, what I do know is this:

Jesus was still faithful.  Outside of our perceived thoughts of what faithfulness “should” look like, Jesus showed up.  In the end, the Father was glorified, and many believed in Jesus because of the Miracle they witnessed.

No matter what it is that you’re going through, or how it seems or appears that God is not there with you, HE always comes through!

When it is all said and done:

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. – Rev 19:11 NLT


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