Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 17 How to Answer the Question of Why

Do you have unanswered prayers?  Do you ask why to God?  I have and I still do.  There is no problem in asking the why questions.  We may never totally understand or even get an answer this side of heaven.  The one thing I have learned is the answer to all the whys lies totally upon Jesus Christ.   I know this sounds rather obvious to most of us.  The reality is it is true and I will prove it. When we can't see through the fog, the pain and frustrations we must trust in His abundant love for us.  I have spent many hours sitting with my Bible open, pen in hand and journal laid upon my lap.  Searching and reading and re-reading the words over and over.  Trying to find answers to my deepest hurts.  The hurts that keep you awake at night.  The pain that suffocates your ability to put one foot in front of the other.  The constant nagging of circumstances.  Yes I have been there.  We have an amazing story in the Bible about real people who experienced unanswered prayers, long nights and family drama.  I am referring to Lazarus, Mary and Martha.

Read John 11

After reading this passage of scripture I have many more questions rather than answers.  Why did Jesus wait so long to go to this family?  Why did Martha run out of the house and meet Jesus, while Mary sat inside?  Ultimately we learn from this story that Jesus' ways are just plain different than our ways.  He ultimately had a purpose for everyone involved to see how His ways work best.  To the disciples who didn't want to travel back to Judea, for fear of being stoned to death to raising a man from the grave.  Jesus had a plan.  It was a great plan.  His timing is always best.  It did not seem like it to this town and certainly not to Martha and Mary.  Why would Jesus let their brother die?  Jesus loved Lazarus.  Even Jesus was moved to weep over his death.  Yet He was here on earth to do the will of the Father who sent Him.  The purpose of Lazarus death was to prove to those questioning His authority that Jesus Christ had power even over death! So that they would believe in the resurrection power of Christ.  One of the great "I Am" statements in the book of John is penned in the twenty-fifth verse. 

"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live." And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26

I am sure the 4 days leading up to Jesus arrival were filled with why questions and no answers.  For both Mary and Martha say to Jesus when he does arrive, if only you had been here. What Mary and Martha did not know during the previous four days is that Jesus was there.  He was waiting for the perfect time to arrive to make a case and display His power.  When I am tempted to dwell on the why questions I must force myself to focus on the character of Jesus.  To know His heart and accept His will.  He is all about love and wanting what is best for me.  That doesn't mean it turns out the way I think it should.  I am forced over and over to to catch myself in this why game, then I stop myself and remember Jesus words to the Father:

 "And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said [this], that they may believe that You sent Me." John 11:42

Jesus does things according to what the Father wants.  The words of my why questions fade.  I realize Jesus lives to intercede on my behalf to the Father. (See Hebrew 7:25) I want His will.  Lazarus was in the grave four days, yet he lived again.  I'd say that is a huge answer to a why.  So others would believe in Jesus.  So maybe when some of my whys don't turn out the way I think or they just take too long, it's because God wants others to believe Him through my "death."  I say "death" not meaning in a literal sense but just plug in whatever circumstance you are questioning. Others see my life and have opportunity of their own to draw closer to the Father or turn away.  I hope and pray that through the experiences I have been through others are encouraged to draw closer to the Father.

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