A Ruthless Trust in Something Better

I've been thinking recently about some of the things I've been praying for this year. While I'm grateful for the ways I've seen His provision I was sobered by how many concerns remain unanswered. For example I have a lot of sadness for some friends in really hard places. I've prayed faithfully for them throughout the year. Yet they're still in really hard places - in some cases even worse places. Faith feels confusing and God feels capricious. Doesn't God even care? He knows what's going on why doesn't He step in?

Last Wednesday night Verna spoke with one of those friends and learned the situation with her family was growing more severe. I woke early Thursday morning feeling restless...confessed how confused I was by God's lack of response. Then I turned to my reading for the day in the Gospels...

It was the story of Jesus raising Lazerus from the dead (John 11). Jesus learns Lazerus was sick early enough to prevent his death. Yet he chose not to respond. Word even comes to him from two of his closest friends and most devoted followers, Mary and Martha. Yet he chose not to respond. As you read the story their comfusion and disappointment with Jesus is obvious. Jesus stays strangely detached as they face Lazerus' death. What's going on...?

When Jesus finally arrives and raises Lazerus from the dead it becomes clear that God's purposes and provision may operate outside our hopes, expectations and capacity to comprehend. Jesus is far from detached and capricious in carrying out His purposes. He was deeply moved by Lazerus' death and it's impact upon his good friends. But He was committed to something better. We hear it in Jesus words to Martha just before He calls Lazerus out of the tomb...Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God.

Believing is difficult at times. Trust feels hard - pretentious on one level (why should I expect God to provide for me)...risky on another level (what if God doesn't respond in the way I hoped or at the time I hoped). He may even ask us to embrace our disapointment - maybe even disillusioment. The faith journey invites us into a ruthless kind of trust - even when it doesn't look like what we hoped  - we ruthlessly hang on to the belief that God cares deeply and is committed to something better than we can see or understand.

Fighting for your heart,

Gary