Many times we get into a situation where things are going badly, and we don’t know what to do. We try to do everything we can to fix the situation, and we ask God, “Why is this happening to me?” God is not surprised when bad things happen. He has a plan, and He has a reason for why we are going through the things we are going through.
In John 11, Jesus knew that Lazarus was sick. Jesus knew that Lazarus was going to die if Jesus didn’t heal him. And yet Jesus let Lazarus, Mary, and Martha go through that horrible experience. Martha tells Jesus, “If you had been here my brother would not have died.” Later, Mary talks to Jesus and tells him, “If you had been here my brother would not have died.” Then the people gathered around the tomb asked, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?” The answer to these questions (essentially the same question) is yes. God could snatch us out of our problems and give us an easy time of it. He could keep us from suffering and trouble. But then we would never learn anything. I heard someone recently quote an old Arabian proverb, “All sunshine makes a desert.” If we never had any rain in our lives, then we would be pretty boring people, and we would never learn anything.
I have what seems like insurmountable problems. God knows about my problems. God could take away my problems in a moment. But it seems that right now God is doing what He did in John 11:6, “So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.” Obviously His followers knew that He had power over sickness, but He needed them to know that He also had power over death. And at the end of the “valley of the shadow of death” there was sunshine and happiness. Lazarus was alive again. God had them go through that experience not just so they would believe in His power over death, but for many reasons. One of those reasons was that it would be recorded in His Word and I would read it today and be encouraged that God knows what I’m going through, and He will work the situation for His glory and my good (Romans 8:28). I just need to keep waiting and trusting in Him.