I’ve been studying the New Testament this semester and the story of Lazarus keeps coming to my mind. It’s an exciting read because we know what’s going to happen. But what was it like for Mary and Martha?
They fully believed Christ would heal Lazarus. He said He would. It must have been a rush of relief and joy. God’s very own Son promised to come, rescuing Lazarus from sickness which would surely end his life! But the hours turned into days. Mary and Martha probably began losing hope until their worst fears were confirmed and the life within Lazarus finally faded.
It was over. Christ didn’t come. He didn’t do what He said He would.
We can see as on-lookers of this miracle that God was still working. But from Mary and Martha’s perspective, experiencing the miracle, they did not yet know. For four days they grieved the loss and were forced to face the doubts I’m sure they must have felt. Still, Christ came. Martha ran to meet Him while Mary stayed behind.
I definitely would have been more like Mary. I can only imagine that the hurt so filled her heart, maybe she couldn’t stand to see His face – paralyzed by a broken heart. What she hoped for and believed Christ would do, He didn’t. When He did call for Mary, she came, falling to His feet with tears in her eyes.
“Why were you not here?”
And Christ wept along with her. But He was not finished. He did what He said He would do and Lazarus raised from the dead.
Jesus didn’t heal Lazarus in the way everyone expected, yet His timing was perfect. It perfectly displayed God’s power in a way that could not have been seen any other way. He didn’t just heal Lazarus from sickness; He reversed what to us felt like the ultimate final say.
Sometimes God allows hope to seemingly fade so He can remake that hope into something more beautiful and precious – belief that God is who He says He is. Life may be full of shattered hope, and at times there is a greater and more merciful purpose for the brokenness. But sometimes, just when all seems lost, He arrives at the right time to fulfill His perfect plan and resurrect what is broken. He comes to breathe new life in our circumstances and remind us that this world has not won.