So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days.
— John 11:5-6 NLT
Most of us will face the long dark night of the soul when it seems as if God is absent and our prayers are nothing more than wasted breath. If God doesn't respond when we want him to respond, his delay in acting seems uncaring. We can feel abandoned and unloved by the God on whom we depend and for whom we seek to live. I claim no great wisdom in understanding the how or even the why of those times. They are as varied as we are. The mystery of God's actions during those times are known only to him (Isaiah 55:8-9). However, I do know three things. First, I know we can honestly cry out and share our deepest disappointments with our Father — after all, he gave us many Psalms that do just that. Second, I know from this story about Lazarus and his sisters that the Lord's apparent absence is not based on a lack of love for us. Third, I know that in the end, Jesus will triumph in us and through us.
Father of glory and might, please give me the strength to face those times when you seem absent. I pray that you will please make your presence known to those I know and love who are facing just such agonizing times right now. Please use me to be a blessing to them in their time of loneliness and loss. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Psalm 5:1-3
- Romans 8:37
- Colossians 3:1-4
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.