4/20 John 11:37

37 But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?"

Jesus delayed His journey until Lazarus was dead for several days. When He arrived at His friends' home, both Martha and Mary told Him that if He had come earlier, Lazarus would not be dead (John 11:21, 32). They wondered why Jesus would not come in their hour of need. The crowd wondered as well. He had performed many amazing healings, so why not for His friend? Where is God when you need Him? Why doesn't He show up when you call out in desperation?

This is one reason many turn away from following Jesus. They may have come to an hour of desperation and pleaded with God to intervene, but He did not. Their loved one died. The miracle never happened. The prayers seem unanswered. That kind of situation can lead to bitterness, if we let it.

In Lazarus' case, Jesus was teaching His friends something much more important than healing on demand. They would all die one day. He was teaching them that He is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25). To believe in Him is to never die spiritually, which is so much more important than living longer physically. Jesus raised Lazarus after he was in the tomb four days. But one day Lazarus would die again and Jesus would not physically be there to prolong Lazarus' life on this earth. Martha, Mary, you, and I need to know that death is not the end. There is life beyond the grave. God knows when it is the right time to take each one of us home, and it is almost always a time we think is too early. Why should we expect God to do what we want when He knows what is best? We forget that God is constantly answering our prayers in countless ways. Yet one prayer answered in a way we do not like, and suddenly we are angry with Him for doing what He knows is good for us all. Trust Him. Believe He sees the big picture even when we do not understand.

Prayer: Lord, when crisis comes to my life, help me to trust that Your answer is best. When crisis comes to my family's and friends' lives, help me to be Your comforting presence beside them.