Maybe you’ve been wanting to add children to your family and haven’t been able to… for a long time… even though you’ve asked the Lord to bless you with them. Been there, done that.
Or maybe you or a loved one is battling a health or emotional issue that you haven’t been healed of yet… even though you’ve asked the Lord to heal you.
Or perhaps you’ve asked the Lord to open a door for you to fulfill your dreams and purpose, but every door you knock on seems to be locked up tight… even though you know His Word says He’s guiding your steps and He has a great plan for you.
Could be that you long to be married, but even though you’ve asked the Lord to bring the right person into your life… it just hasn’t happened.
When we come to times like this, it’s easy to wonder, “Why?”
– Why won’t You answer my prayer the way I want, Lord?
– Why is it taking so long?
– Why can’t I seem to have the blessings others have?
– Why aren’t you coming to my rescue, Lord?
The good news is that you are not alone. The man who might have been the Lord’s best friend records a story about some other friends of Jesus… two sisters and their brother… Mary, Martha and Lazarus who encountered their own “Why, Lord” moment.
Lazarus got sick, and so his sisters did what lots of people had done… They asked Jesus to come heal him. They were good friends of Jesus. He loved them, and they loved Him. So they assumed He would come immediately when He heard Lazarus was sick and would heal him on the spot. Why wouldn’t He?
And soon that became their actual question… Why didn’t He? Jesus chose to wait two days before making the two-day walk to their home in Bethany. That’s four days. And by the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus had already died. In Mary’s and Martha’s minds, Jesus was too late… and He didn’t have to be. He could have come earlier. He could have healed Lazarus. Why didn’t He come? Why didn’t He answer their request?
When they asked Him that question, His answer sounded odd… To give God more glory. What? How was their brother dying going to give God more game and recognition and praise? How would his death instead of his healing cause more people to think God was amazing?
Then Jesus showed them. He raised Lazarus from the dead. Their pain was eclipsed by their joy. And John records that MANY people believed in Jesus because of this miracle.
Then they understood. But they couldn’t understand till then. It didn’t make sense. It baffled the sisters that Jesus didn’t do what Jesus normally did in the way He normally did it. And their hearts were flooded with that one emotionally draining query… “Why, Lord?”
You probably know the weariness of that question. I know I do. And yet, each time, Jesus comes through and joy swallows up my weariness as it reveals the understanding that God’s plan is so much bigger and more amazing than I had the capacity to grasp before.
So, why do I still ask, “Why, Lord” anymore? Because in each new situation I face, it doesn’t seem like the situations before. And even though I know the Lord loves me… even though I know He is working everything together for my good… even though I know He has also come through for me before… this time seems different.
And still He loves me. Still He is gracious and kind to me. Still He is patient with me. He lets me ask “Why, Lord” all I want. Then… at the right time… in the right way… in the way that will cause the most people to be drawn to Him… He answers my prayer in a way I didn’t even know to ask Him.
The only reason I can imagine He hasn’t answered your request in the way you want… on the schedule you want… is the same reason He didn’t for Mary and Martha… God has a better plan. Just keep in mind how John laid it all out… Jesus loved Him, but He did it differently than they expected.
When you can’t understand why, you can at least rest in the truth that He loves you… and He has a better way.
Hang in there. He will show up and be there to go through it with you… all the way to the miraculous end!