If only…..

Damaged remains of chapel at San Juan Capistrano Mission from 1812 earthquake that killed 40 worshipers
Damaged remains of chapel at San Juan Capistrano Mission from 1812 earthquake that killed 40 worshipers

This morning I started Day 12 of the Lenten devotion I am working my way through. I made it barely a paragraph in before I had to set my pen down and soak in God’s word.

The passage is from John 11: 32-42. The familiar and yet always new story of the death of Lazarus.

So much to ponder in this story. So many questions to ask.

But I stopped short at the first statement that is made. It is not posed as a question.

Martha says – not asks – says: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

But a deep spiritual question is implied.

I have made that statement in many forms over the years. Not about a brother dying. I have no brother and my sister still lives. But oh, about many of the trials and pains and aches of life. The betrayals and the things that didn’t make sense.

I have said, in so many words….

Lord, LORD, I believe in You and Your power to change and transform and deliver and save. And Lord, LORD, if you …. IF YOU … would have shown up in this….this mess…..this pain….this loss…..this heartache…..this sickness…..this downward spiral into sin…..THIS would not have happened. If only….If ONLY….YOU….would have shown up.

And underneath that statement, hides a question. Doesn’t it?

Because isn’t Martha really asking Him….

Why didn’t You come?

Why weren’t You here?

Why didn’t You stop this?

And I can relate.

And this morning, I can go no further in the passage.

But instead, I face the questions behind the statements I have made about Him, that I have made to Him. I acknowledge that I really do not know Him as He knows me. I cry out to know Him more.

I thank Him for allowing one like me to approach Him in my pain and in my doubt and make statements and ask questions.

I pray to know Him more as I journey….onward….with Him…in Him….Him in me….

Perhaps today you are nodding your head and you know you are in a season where it is perplexing to understand why He hasn’t just shown up. You know that if He would, the whole scenario of death that you are looking at would be transformed.

Bless you today as you meet Him in the dusty street of your life, in your raw pain and sorrow. Bless you to see the tears gather in His eyes. Bless you today as you believe Him to be the One who will call forth LIFE into that which appears dead <3

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