WHEN GOD DOESN’T ANSWER 2
Why does it sometimes seem like God doesn’t hear our prayers? Why didn’t He heal sick Lazarus when He was staying in Lazarus’s home? Why didn’t Jesus heal Him long distance when He received word Lazarus was dying? Why didn’t He at least show up to comfort Mary and Martha in their loss? All He did was send word that Lazarus would be OK – but he was already dead? Why?
Perhaps it was because Jesus didn’t know that Lazarus was that sick and that he died. However, that couldn’t be true because John 11:14 says Jesus did know. He told the disciples Lazarus was dead. Then maybe Jesus did know, but He just didn’t care. But three times (John 11:3, 5, 36) we read that Jesus loved Lazarus. Mary and Martha provided the only home Jesus knew during His last 3 years on earth. We assume if someone loves us they will do all they can to help us, so when Jesus doesn’t help us we tend to question His love for us. Why didn’t Jesus answer? It wasn’t because He didn’t know and it wasn’t because He didn’t care. Could it have been, then, because He wasn’t able? We know that isn’t true. He healed many others. He is sovereign God and nothing is too great for Him! So, that leaves only one explanation – He has a greater plan in store.
Jesus said He was glad Lazarus was dead for their sakes! Jesus’ unspoken answer was – trust me! When He finally did show up, Martha challenged Him as to why He didn’t come (John 11:17-27). Jesus just told her He was the resurrection and the life, and then asked if she believed. She said she did believe in Him. That was the end of the conversation. There was no explanation, no justification – just asking her to trust Him.
Mary came next (John 11:28-37) and Jesus cried with her, but didn’t offer any rationalization as to why He was so late in showing up. He knows, He cares, He is able, but He doesn’t explain what He is doing. Why?
Parents know that sometimes they can’t explain to a child their reasons for what they do. There is a good reason, and later the child will understand, but when all they see is the needle in the hand of the doctor and their parent is holding them down, no explanation will help. They can only ask their child to trust them despite what the circumstances seem to indicate. You see, it’s all based on trust, not on proof. We walk by faith, not by sight. As children trust their earthly parents, so we are to trust our heavenly Father.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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