Picture of by Jamie

by Jamie

If Only You Believe

I keep thinking about Lazarus. How the impossible became possible when Christ raised him from the dead. But can you imagine the agony his sisters Mary and Martha must have endured for the four days before the miracle?

If only Christ would have been here. If only we would have sent for Him sooner. If only all of this would never have happened. The if only’s must have run rampant through their hearts during those four long days.

And when Jesus came to Bethany, Martha uttered her grief: “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” If only.

But if only is never part of the plan. God’s ways are always higher than our ways, and our lives unfold exactly according to His will for us. Not because He wants us to suffer. But because He always has something greater in store.

For Christ himself told his apostles before they traveled to Bethany, “…I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe…” The death of Lazarus was not a heavenly oversight but a vital part of the heavenly plan to show forth the glory and power of God.

Even so, Martha still doubted. She worried that the body of Lazarus would stink having lain in the tomb for four days. Christ’s response is both humbling and hopeful: “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?”

We know the rest of the story by heart. Lazarus comes forth from the tomb, alive and well and “many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.”

The question is, do we?

It’s easy to believe in the miracles that Christ performed in the Bible. We have hindsight. But do we believe in the midst of our own daily struggles? Faith is not true faith until is tried.

I have wondered time and again if my faith is strong enough to withstand horrendous, terrible blows. With the grace of God, I have overcome many challenges, yet even still I often wondered if my faith was strong enough to endure even more?

But that afternoon in September, just a few months ago, when we were broadsided by a car, I found out what my faith is really made of. There were at least a dozen thoughts simultaneously running through my head seconds after the wreck. But the one I remember the most is the resolute, steadfast faith that came to my aid. I silently stated to my heart, “This happened for a reason and somehow the Lord will turn this to our good.”

In the coming days the if only’s ran through my head on replay, but they were always combatted by an unwavering faith that the Lord was with us and would not abandon us.

The blessings we received because of the accident far, far outweighed the trouble it caused us. The Lord showed forth His glory and it was all for our good.

Last week our bathroom flooded, and while there were a million inconveniences this caused, we knew that somehow, in some way, the Lord would turn this experience to our good as well. And He has. We are not finished with the remodel that has ensued as a result, but in the end, I have faith that there are no accidents in heaven. Everything the Lord asks us to pass through will sooner or later, show forth His glory and turn to our good. Sometimes it doesn’t happen for several months or several decades, but this I know: the Lord will compensate in ways we can’t even imagine.

I have many trials in my life and I know you do too. My message to you today is to take a step back and find your faith. Silence the if only’s and put your trust in the great God of heaven and earth. The promise the Savior gave to Martha is extended to us even today:

“…If thou [wilt] believe, thou [wilt] see the glory of God.”

{All scriptures quoted from John 11}

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