If Only . . .
August 11, 2017
Read: John 11:21–35
Bible in a Year: Psalms 81–83; Romans 11:19–36
Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.—John 11:32
As we exited the parking lot, my husband slowed the car to wait for a young woman riding her bike. When Tom nodded to indicate she could go first, she smiled, waved, and rode on. Moments later, the driver from a parked SUV threw his door open, knocking the young bicyclist to the pavement. Her legs bleeding, she cried as she examined her bent-up bike.
Later, we reflected on the accident: If only we had made her wait . . . If only the driver had looked before opening his door. If only . . . Difficulties catch us up in a cycle of second-guessing ourselves. If only I had known my child was with teens who were drinking . . . If only we had found the cancer earlier . . .
When unexpected trouble comes, we sometimes question the goodness of God. We may even feel the despair that Martha and Mary experienced when their brother died. Oh, if Jesus had only come when He first found out that Lazarus was sick! (John 11:21, 32).
Like Martha and Mary, we don’t always understand why hard things happen to us. But we can rest in the knowledge that God is working out His purposes for a greater good. In every circumstance, we can trust the wisdom of our faithful and loving God. —Cindy Hess Kasper
Father, You have carried me through hard circumstances before. Thank You for teaching me to trust Your heart of love even when I don’t understand what You are doing in my life.
For encouragement read, Why? Seeing God in Our Pain at discoveryseries.org/cb151.
To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark—that is faith. Charles Haddon Spurgeon
INSIGHT: Jesus’s absence is what greatly troubled Mary and Martha. They cried, “Lord, . . . if you had been here” (John 11:21, 32). But God has promised, “Never will I leave you” (Heb. 13:5). We may not understand why hard things happen, but in confident trust we can say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid” (v. 6). Sim Kay Tee
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