Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. ~ John 11:5-6
Reading the story of Lazarus’ death, his sisters’ grief and how Jesus comes to resurrect his friend is always very moving. And in these two verses we see two ideas juxtaposed, as they often are in our own lives:
- Jesus loved Mary and Martha (Just as Jesus loves you and me)
- Jesus “seems” silent (Just as we, too, must wait on the timing of our Lord).
We all must face the silence of the Lord (probably many times in our lives). Like Mary and Martha, there are times when we cry out to Him, when we ask for Him to come, and when we must wait. To our own feeble understanding, to our own eyes, we cannot see how he will work. Sometimes, our prayers are answered as we ask. Sometimes, like Mary and Martha, we meet him with questions or lament:
Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. ~ John 11:21
Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” ~ John 11:32
How do we endure his silence? How do we wait for Him? How do we better trust Him? I think, the answer lies in that first verse: “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” (John 11:5). We remind ourselves that He loves us. He loves us. The God of the universe, the creator of all things, the Mighty One who rides the waves – He loves us.
Sometimes, we don’t “feel” His love (how reliable are our feelings anyway?). Instead, we feel loss and hurt, weariness and trials. We forget that He is the one who has suffered first. In our moments of silence and hurt, He comes to us. He sees us and He reminds us that He loves us – that He has endured this much and more, coming to the earth, rejected by the very ones He made, and then being beaten, abandoned by his disciples and crucified. He has shown us His love and understood His suffering – on the cross.
He loves us, even when He is silent.
Dear one, are you enduring silence? Do you find it hard to bear?
Then, sit in the shadow of the cross. Surrender yourself to His incredible mercy. Bask in the sunlight of His love. Remind yourself of eternity with Him. Look into His tender, suffering face. He knows what it is to hurt, to love, and to heal.
And that will make all the difference.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:37-39