Scripture: Matthew 16:25; John 11:1–44
The shortest verse in the Bible is, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). And yet I think it’s one of the strongest. Jesus’s friends Mary and Martha had just lost their brother, Lazarus, and Jesus was nowhere to be found. They’d sent a messenger to ask Jesus to save their brother before it was too late, but Jesus had chosen not to come. Two days he waited, before he showed up. Two days!
Mary and Martha were distraught.
When Jesus did show up, he wept. He couldn’t have been crying over Lazarus’s death, because he could have prevented that death. No, he was crying because his friends were crying.
Their tears had moved him to tears. His delay in coming to his friends’ aid was strategic; he would raise Lazarus from the dead, thus proving his supernatural power and gathering glory for God. But in the meantime, before that resurrection, his heart of compassion led him to weep.
The message for me and also for you? God will always care for us, even when what is hurting us is in his plan, even when he knows we are hurting. But he will be with us in that hurting, leading us to the new life he has for us beyond it.
At one point in my musical career, I realized that music had become an idol in my life. Sam the Recording Artist had become my identity. I realized God was saying to me, “I know you say you love me, Sam, but if I don’t do it the way you want me to, will your love and devotion end?” In other words, “Am I in charge, or what?” God was killing me so that he could live. He was ripping out the desire in me to make his plan fit into mine. And he was weeping with me because he knew how I grieved my dreams, even though his plan was best in the end.
Maybe you’re stuck in a Lazarus moment right now, waiting on something to be raised up. Something is dying in your hands, and you’re worried that death will have the final word. If that’s you, please be encouraged. Trust God’s plan while holding his hand.
Take a few moments to reflect on this question, “If God asked you to trade your dream for his, would you do it?”