Several years ago, the walls of my faith began crumbling around me. Day after day, as debris of despair fell heavy on my heart, disappointment piled higher and higher, burying my dreams of having children. Deep in the rubble, covered with, anger, hurt, jealously, and bitterness, I couldn’t understand why God was allowing this unnecessary pain to fill my life. I wanted happiness, the kind only a little bundle of joy could bring. If God loved me, why would His actions contradict His affections? If. Only. He. Cared.
Nestled in the middle of the gospel of John is a favorite truth God has spoken over me. Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, falls ill.
John 11: 4
But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”
Jesus, although he loves the sisters dearly, decides to wait two days before coming to the rescue. By then, it appears He’s too late, for Lazarus has been dead four days. Overcome with grief, Martha begins to question His love.
John 11: 21-22
Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”
During my eight year struggle with infertility, over and over again I questioned God. Etched in my memory are the words, “Lord, if only you loved me like you say you do, you would give me a child now.” As if putting God on a guilt trip was going to give me what I wanted.
I realize now, that in all that rubble, my desire to have children wasn’t lost. I just lost sight of God. My walls of faith fell, because I was spiritually weak. Consumed with what I wanted, I neglected God and His guidance. Deep down inside, I didn’t trust God, or His timing.
Sometimes God allows our desires to die, only to resurrect them later, in order that His power and glory be shown. But, like Martha, we must respond in the right way, when God allows our loves to die. Most of the time, it’s our attitude, not our aptitude that makes all the difference in the outcome. Our hearts must be filled with contentment, not contempt.
I had to get to a place where I acknowledged that having children wasn’t going to make me whole. God had to conceal His plan for me, in order to reveal that He alone was the only One to fill that void in my life. In times of grief, we often question God’s actions, instead of recognizing His perfection. We fail to see His sovereignty.
Most of the time, what we think is a needless pain, God knows is a necessary process to strengthen our faith and open us to obedience in surrender to Him. God shows us His love, not by pampering us, but by perfecting us.
Jesus’ goal was to strengthen Martha and Mary’s faith, and it’s still His goal with us today. He doesn’t want our walls of faith to crumble, rather, that they be built on the true Cornerstone fortified and strengthened to stand forever.
John 11: 40; 43-45
Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in gravecloths, his face wrapped in a head cloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap them and let him go!” Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen.
Jesus’ purposeful delays often reveal His glorious ways, not only to ourselves, but to the spectators watching every event of our lives unfold. Christ not only answers our prayers for our sake, but also for the sake of those watching, so that they too may see God’s glory and believe in Him.
Looking back, I stand in amazement at what God has done. I have three beautiful children and the stage of life they are in is perfect for where God has us now. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
So, if you have a dream or ambition that God has allowed to be buried, it doesn’t matter how deep, dusty, and decayed the dream may be. If God decides to resurrect it, He will in His way and in His timing. Maybe it’s a job, a marriage, or a calling, and too much time has gone by, you think. It seems impossible for you to breathe life back into it, but not for God! Perhaps the deeper the dream is buried the greater the glory God will get!