“Now a certain a man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and Her sister Martha.
“Lord, behold he whom you love is sick.” John 11: 1,3
Holley Gerth has an amazing blog where she asks for people like you and me to write an encouraging blog and post on Wednesday. Her blog site is http://www.holleygerth.com. She invites you to pour a cup of coffee and be encouraged. This week she wrote about God’s grace and expectations that we place on ourselves as women. Really we need to kick to the curb the “What If ‘s” and “If Only’s” and “I should have.” I have often said that guilt is a useless emotion. God is about conviction not condemnation. He is a loving God wanting a relationship with each one of us.
“The thief does not come except to steal, an to kill, and to destroy, I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”John 10:10
I have had times of dwelling in the past and sometimes find myself asking, “If Only and What If? What do you you with unmet expectations and disappointment? Do you complain? Ask the question, “Why Me?’ “Where is God in this situation?”
Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, her sister Martha was distracted while Jesus was in their home. However, the friendship blossomed and so when their brother Lazarus was ill and they sent for Jesus. John 11: 3 “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” Perhaps, Mary and Martha expected that Jesus would drop what he was doing and come to heal their brother, or Jesus could just speak and Lazarus would be healed. But Jesus stayed where He was at another two days. Lazarus passed away during this time.
Mary was grieving and disappointed. Before Jesus arrived, perhaps Mary voiced her if only and should have questions, “If Jesus would have been here our brother would not have died?’ Perhaps she said to Martha, “We should have sent for Jesus sooner!” or “If only we had know how sick Lazarus was right before he died?”
Satan loves when he can create doubt in the lives of believers. In 1 Peter 5:8, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devils prowls about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” However, verse 9 says, “But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.”
When Jesus arrived, Martha went to meet Jesus. She took her concern to Jesus. In verse 21 she said, “Lord, if You had been here my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give you.” Her faith was solid. Then as they walked to where Mary was Jesus saw her weeping, He listened as she said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” I loved this next part of John 11, Jesus did not berate her for expressing her concern, but he empathized and in verse 35 we see his reaction, “Jesus wept.”
Dear One, we have a God who understands our questions. Did you notice, Jesus met Mary, listened to her questions, shared in her grief, and then performed the miracle of raising her brother from death.
“What If” “I should have, ” and “If only” takes your eyes off Jesus. Grace abounds. Jesus is waiting for you and me to bring our questions, disappointments, and mistakes to Him.
Father God, for the person reading this post, I pray that she will turn her eyes upon Jesus, that she will look at His wonderful face, and she will see His penetrating eyes looking deep in her soul waiting to heal her damages emotions. Your word in 1 John 1:9 says, “if we confess our sins, (our unbelief, lack of faith, apathy) He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Let her leave her “If only’s and What If’s” at the foot of the cross. Blessings.