“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” – John 11:21, 32
They sat around in Lazarus’ house, grieving. And knowing. If Jesus had shown up, Lazarus still would be alive. They knew it with certainty. And so Martha rushed out – “Lord, if you had been here …” Frustration and disappointment well up when God doesn’t act in the way we want. And so Mary rushed out, and she fell face down – “Lord, if you had been here …”
It must have been a common theme in that house, a topic around which conversations revolved. If only Jesus had come. Where was Jesus?
He had healed a blind man. He could have done this, too. The deep tension in those moments is our knowing but not understanding. We know God could have done something. Our knowing isn’t unraveled by the fact he didn’t. Our faith is secure. We still believe.
We just don’t understand. We don’t understand the will and the ways of God. And the wise Christian dwells in that tension and does not despair. The wise Christian is rushing out to Jesus with the claim of faith – “my brother would not have died.” And the wise Christian waits.
This is what it means to live. To really live. An immediate Lazarus moment may not come. Four days, after all, is an arbitrary time frame. It could be two days. It could be forty years. But there is a resurrection. And we wait for him. In faith.