Monday, July 31, 2017

Could Not He?

Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind have kept this man from dying?” John 11:37

This is the heart cry of every heart that has ever been broken. It was my heart cry when my sister Beth died at 43. As a family, we had been hopeful…faithful…prayerful. Walking out this painful season seemed like an eternity, but the calendar only showed 11 months from diagnosis to death…cancer to healing…earth to Heaven. I can remember sitting in church a month or so after she passed as the pastor told a story of a miraculous healing of a woman’s cancer. I asked the Lord, 'Why couldn’t she be healed, Lord? Didn’t we have faith more than a mustard seed? Didn’t we tell that mountain to move? Didn’t we believe that you could heal her completely?' ‘COULD NOT HE…’

Could not he’ has been on the lips of all of us, and in the heartbreak of hoping for something that God has delayed. Death is the hardest delay of all. We know that death was overcome by Jesus and it will never have the final say over the lives of believers. But we must still handle the space in between the sadness and the reunions. ‘Could not he’ was spoken a million nights from this mother’s cry when my daughter was in her dark season. ‘Could not he’ was present in my heart as my dad and sister slipped into the arms of Jesus. ‘Could not he’ is still on my lips in some of the promises for which I am still waiting God to fulfill.

In the story of Lazarus, Jesus asks Martha a question that breaks through her ‘could not he’ heart, and replaced it with His question. He asked her the same question that He asks us in our delays and disappointments, ‘I AM…Do you believe?’ John 11:25. ‘I AM the one who will restore your marriage. I AM the one who will heal your disease. I AM the one who will bring your prodigal back. I AM the one who will restore your career. I AM the one who will raise your loved ones from the grave. I AM, but will you believe?’ One of the most courageous things we can do is to find faith and hold onto it tightly…faith that the delays won’t despair…faith that disappointments won’t turn into deep discouragement…faith that He can…faith that He will…faith that is certain. We must answer our 'could not He' question with 'yes He can!' During the delay we will experience His fellowship, His comfort and a deepening of our relationship with Him.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; and the certainty of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1.

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