Through my recent study and personal interactions, I’ve come across a theme…if God really cared, why did “this” have to happen? Why didn’t He stop it? How could a good God allow such suffering?
These are questions people have asked for hundreds of years–If God is good, why do bad things happen?
I’m not suggesting I can answer a question that has been grappled with for centuries. However, God has brought to my attention a passage in Scripture I have read countless times in a new way that reminded me of God’s character in the midst of suffering.
You see, God IS good and we live in a fallen world where evil resides and sin brings about pain and injustice. God is not absent in the midst of the injustice but neither is He responsible for it. Instead, it because of sin and injustice, God sent Jesus to redeem and restore that which was broken.
Consider with me the story found in John 11 of Mary and Martha losing their brother Lazarus in death. As Jesus approached Bethany and the house of Lazarus, He was met by Mary who cried out to Him, “Jesus, if you had been here, our brother wouldn’t have died.” I imagine her screaming in pain as she blamed Jesus for His inaction and apathy. Thankfully, we serve a God who is big enough and strong enough to handle our grief as we angrily cry out to Him.
There stood the Messiah, the son of the Most High God. He was all-knowing and all-powerful equipped with the knowledge of what He would do next, yet, Scripture says that when Jesus saw Mary crying, He wept alongside her.
Why would He do that? When He knew He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead and restore back to life that which was dead, why would He take the time to stop and weep alongside his friend, Mary?
The only logical explanation is that He cares deeply for those He loves. Mary might have assumed by His delay in coming, He didn’t care at all. In fact, her declaration of His power to heal Lazarus was also an accusation that He chose not to heal Him.
Jesus didn’t defend Himself. He didn’t explain where He had been or what He planned to do next, instead, He wept.
I don’t know about you, but I need the reminder that Jesus gets me. He understands why I’m frustrated, why I’m discouraged, why I’m overwhelmed by the circumstances of life.
As I have sat with people in the last few weeks who have experienced heartbreaking loss, I’ve been reminded that not only does God have a plan to redeem each tear we cry but that He cries alongside us.
What emotions are you experiencing today? Are you tired, overwhelmed, lonely, heartbroken?
Hebrews 4:15 (HCSB) says:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.
He cares deeply for you and how you feel and what you are experiencing in the midst of each life situation. Would you lean into Him today as you share your burdens, your pain and discover that He wants to give you rest (Matthew 11:28) because He’s there to hold you even as He knows His plans to redeem and restore your brokenness.