There are times in the middle of a crisis when it is difficult to remember that Jesus values each and every one of us. Life is full of suffering, loss, and moments that crush our souls. So often we cry out to God, “If you had just been here.” We are dumbfounded when his answer is simply, “Do you believe?”
Do I Believe?
Those three little words can feel crushing and complex in the middle of tragedy. Suffering surrounds us and we feel adrift and alone. Where was God? It’s the same question that Martha asked. She called for him to come, knowing he could heal her brother, and he didn’t. She couldn’t understand and if we’re honest, in the middle of our own crushing suffering, we can also have a hard time understanding.
We Weren’t Asked to Suffer Alone
The story of Lazarus and his sisters is beautiful because we see that Jesus is not immune to suffering. He enters in and shares our sorrow. He wasn’t just sad for Mary and Martha. He was sad with them. Yes, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead—a powerful expression of Jesus’s power over death—but before that he came alongside Mary and Martha in their suffering.
John 11:35 says, “Jesus wept.” How powerful those two words are. Jesus loved Lazarus deeply as well as the sisters. We don’t understand why they had to endure the pain of Lazarus’s death in order for this lesson to be taught. Why did it have to be this family? Why did Jesus have to wait so long to make his point and pour out his grace?
Often our suffering has no answers on this side of eternity. We don’t get the big picture view. What we do get is a God who loves us and never leaves us. Jesus entered into their suffering. He saw them in their pain, and he wept. In the same way, he sees our pain and does not ask us to suffer alone. He stands with us, weeping, and offers us compassion and community in one another. Jesus sees all of us and values our lives, our struggles, and our suffering. It is all part of our story and part of who we are. None of it is outside of God’s grace.
Do You Believe This?
In John 11:26, Jesus asks Martha, “Do you believe this?” It is the same question he asks each of us. Do you believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life? Do you believe his grace is sufficient and his love is unconditional?
God sees you, values you, and loves you unconditionally. Rest in that.
Watch the final week's video here: https://vimeo.com/408977618