May 20 - Irreconcilable Differences
The world is full of contradictions and we live in much tension between what we know and what we do not know. There seems to be a higher explanation for all the things we are experiencing in the world. Without God’s wisdom and the Spirit’s revelation, much of our conscious thoughts would end up in despair. In the story of Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead, these tensions came to a boiling point.
The messenger from Mary and Martha who reported the sickness of Lazarus was confounded about the inability of Jesus to prevent the one He loved from getting sick. The report fully expressed the bewilderment of this person, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” Why do we, as God’s beloved, get sick? How come God is not able to prevent us from illness and disease? Why do we have to die?
In our incomplete knowledge and limited power and wisdom, we do not know of God’s plan to reveal His glory. No one knew that Lazarus was only sleeping and when the time came, he would wake up. No one knew of the good intention of the Lord but rather doubted His goodness or His power to raise the dead. The sickness that would not lead to death was a foreign concept to the people and the family, Jesus had to explain further and demonstrate it by a miracle.
None of the disciples or the family of Lazarus understood why Jesus tarried for two days. Why did He not go immediately since He loved Lazarus so much? What was the meaning of His delay? When both sisters greeted Jesus, they had the same question, “Why didn’t you come earlier? You could have saved Lazarus should you have come prior to his death!” Jesus explained to Martha about His power to raise the dead but He wept with Mary without any explanation.
The conclusion of this story is about the twin fact about God’s glory and our faith in Him. Jesus joined these two together when He said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” As children of God, we live for His glory and our chief purpose in life is to glorify Him. The only way to glorify Him is through our faith in Him. When we believe in Him, we lift up His name and others might believe like the Jews who had come with Mary and had seen what He did. Not only the words of Jesus but also His prayer were said for the sake of those around Him so that they might believe. When people are turned to the Lord, God is glorified.
Are there things that are happening to you at this point of your life that you cannot understand? The fastest way to get out of your doubt is to trust and believe in God. Your faith brings about the glory of God. Accept the fact that you do not understand and rely on God’s power and goodness to carry you through.
Ps 71:9-14 1 Sam 26:1-28:25 John 11:1-53 Prov 15:22-23