Thursday, January 20, 2011

When We Don’t Feel the Love (John 11)

Just when Mary and Martha thought things would get better, things got worse. Instead of coming quickly to heal their brother, Jesus stayed where He was. And Lazarus died. Mary and Martha knew Jesus loved them, but they weren’t feeling the love right then.

Rather than withdrawing from Jesus, though, Mary and Martha moved toward Him. They verbalized their frustration and disappointment. They wept in His presence. And they continued to trust Him, somehow realizing that true love is not based on feelings, but on commitment. They were committed to Jesus. But, more importantly, Jesus was committed to them. He was committed to acting in their long-term best interest, even if it involved their short-term discomfort.

Jesus had not promised to heal Lazarus or to prevent his death. Jesus had simply said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (John 11:4, emphasis added). Bereavement wasn’t pleasant. Grief didn’t feel good. But the sisters remained confident in Jesus and in His love for them. And, in the end, they were glad that they had. Lazarus’ resurrection strengthened Mary and Martha’s faith and prompted others to profess faith in Christ—something that may not have happened if Jesus had answered the sisters’ prayers in the way they’d hoped.

When sickness lingers, when circumstances worsen or when tragedy strikes, we don’t always feel loved. But because we know God loves us, because we know He is committed to acting in our long-term best interest, we can keep trusting Him. This trial, this circumstance, this tragedy is not the end. God has good things planned for us. One day, we will see!

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!”
 (1 John 3:1).

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Copyright © 2011 Sherrie Lorance. All rights reserved.