Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Where is God?

I recently had someone in my office who was at the end of her resources. As an unemployed single mother she had her utilities cut off and was about to lose her home. She was making phone calls to find help but either the agencies she called were out of money or they wouldn't help her because she owned a home.

As a new Christian, this young woman asked, "how do I keep my faith when God doesn't seem to care about my circumstances?" It seemed a valid question...."Where was God?" Did He really think it was best to allow a baby Christian to be pushed to point of despair? I really didn't have many answers for her - except that God is in control, that He does care, and that He is never late...or is He?

I was reminded of the story of Lazarus. Mary and Martha, his sisters, surely thought that Jesus was too late! Lazarus was sick, and they sent for Jesus. Lazarus died and was buried, and THEN Jesus showed up. Four days too late.

I'm sure they were angry. They knew that Jesus could have healed their brother if he had just shown up on time!

In his book When God Doesn't Make Sense, James Dobson says, "Jesus then performed one of His most dramatic miracles as He called Lazarus out of the tomb. You see, the Master was not really late at all. He only appeared to be overdue. He arrived at the precise moment necessary to fulfill the purposes of God - just as He always does. With no disrespect intended, let me say that what happened there in Bethany is characteristic of the Christian life. Haven't you noticed that Jesus usually shows up about four days late? He often arrives after we have wept and worried and paced the floor - after we have sweated out the medical examination or fretted our way through business reverses. If He had arrived on time we could have avoided much of the stress that occured in His absence. Yet it is extremely important to recognize that His is never actually late. His timetable for action is simply different from ours. And it is usually slower." pg.52.

"Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything."
James 1:2-4 New Living Translation.

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