If You Had Been Here
By Tomekia Williams
John 11:21(b) NIV …”if you had been here…”
When I think of the infamous bible story of Lazarus’ death, I can’t help but think about the response of Mary and Martha, his sisters. Often times when circumstances or situations don’t turn out the way we planned or hoped, there usually is a period of disappointment to deal with. I believe that our actions during these times can do either of two things: Resurrect and redirect us or pin us down like a hopeless animal caught in the jaws of his prey, leaving one immobile and left to die.
John 11:21 reveals the raw conversation between Jesus and Martha. It is clear that Martha is perplexed by Jesus’ timing, as it relates to her brother’s sickness and now his death. “…If you had been here…” depicts that somehow Jesus neglected to respond their very needs; like he was not there for them when they really needed him the most. This statement would leave one to think that “bad evil” had won, in a sense. We all have had a …if you had been here…moment in our journey with Christ. It’s the old adage that says, “If God loves us, why did he allow this “bad evil” to happen?
Martha, in my opinion, had every right to question, in a sense, Jesus’ late appearance; for they had a very close relationship with him. Surely, if Jesus was going to show up for anybody, it would have been for this family…for he visited them quite frequently and Mary even ministered at his feet.
However, Martha chose to rise above the apparent disappointing situation and allowed her faith to negotiate the possibility of a new outcome. Martha’s statement of faith was, “BUT, I know that even now, God will give you whatever you ask.” This changed the whole trajectory of this emotionally charged conversation because Jesus responds” Your brother will rise again…because I am the Resurrection and the life.”
Sometimes in life we question, why God allows certain things to go on or why he didn’t answer a certain prayer, at a certain time. My dear friend, I do not have all the answers to life’s hardest question, but I do know this…Sometimes God just wants to display his UNUSAL GLORY in an ugly situation. He will allow “ugly” to only appear to have the upper hand, until the power of His word, and goodness reveals his glory.
We know from the text, Jesus was informed about the physical condition of his friend Lazarus and yet, he chose to delay his travels. Jesus was using this situation to train his disciples to stretch their faith, while preparing this family to see another side of his goodness and authority. Jesus knew along what he was going to do concerning Lazarus. Therefore, we can rest assure that Jesus knows what he’s going to do in our life and in our grievous situations.
So, dear reader, perhaps the very problem that your family is facing right now; or your church is dealing with; or your business or even that sickness that’s in your body…could it be that God is going to use the difficulty to reveal his goodness and Glory. In other words, God’s goodness will out do and outshine the darkness of your dead and grievous circumstance. It’s not over until God get the Glory!
For more information about Tomekia, please visit www.tomekiawilliams.com.