Have you ever felt like God didn’t show up when you needed him the most? And did that make you wonder if He truly cares about the pain you are experiencing? My husband and I struggle with infertility. Over the past three years we have experienced multiple miscarriages after doing fertility treatments. And to be honest with you, after the third miscarriage I felt trapped in a horrible nightmare and began to question whether God cares about the deep pain these pregnancy losses are causing. Because if He did, wouldn’t He show up and perform a miracle?
In the book of John, Lazarus falls ill. Mary and Martha (Lazarus’ sisters) send word to Jesus that Lazarus is sick. Jesus does not come to their aid immediately. In fact, Jesus waits days to come to their town and during that time Lazarus dies and is even buried. When Jesus finally comes Mary and Martha both greet Him at different times with the same bold statement, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:32) Thank you ladies for saying what we were all thinking! And exactly what has gone through my head during our infertility journey, “Lord, if you had been here, these miscarriages wouldn’t have happened.” I imagine while waiting on Jesus to show up, Mary and Martha had to wonder if Jesus truly cared about their situation. Did He understand the grief their circumstance were causing? Now, if you read ahead you know that when Jesus does arrive. He is on the verge of performing a miracle, resurrecting Lazarus from the dead. But something beautiful happens when Jesus greets Mary and Martha as well.
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled. John 11:33
As they are walking to Lazarus’ tomb Jesus begins to weep along side Mary and Martha. He isn’t crying and troubled because He is shocked by the death of Lazarus and unsure how it happened. Rather Jesus is pained by the heartache death is causing them. He was weeping because He could see the outcome while they couldn’t. He knew that Lazarus was about to walk out of the tomb, but they couldn’t see that just as we can’t see the outcome of our situations.
God does hear our cries and He feels our pain. When we think He isn’t showing up, He is really weeping beside us as He works out His sovereign plan. While we tend to focus on the grave and what we have lost, God focuses on the miracle to come, the empty tomb. While we experience pain through our infertility, the story of Lazarus reminds us that God does deeply care and has a bigger plan. So as we wait, we may experience pain and sadness, but we do so with the expectation that God is working behind the scenes to create our empty tomb.
About the Writer:
Joni H. is a former elementary school teacher turned stay at home wife and mom to her son. She enjoys serving at First Baptist Dallas along side her husband as small group leaders in their Young Marrieds Sunday school class. She loves spending her free time crafting, attempting Pinterest projects, and above all spending time with her family.