A statement each of us may have made at some point. We have experienced disappointment or loss, hurt and pain and we attempted to blame that experience on someone else. Not because we thought the other person could have changed the current anguish we were feeling but because we felt and hoped that if the other person had been there the outcome would have been different.
Personally, I have always felt that this statement, “If you had been here”, found in the eleventh chapter of John is one of the most interesting and honest statements in literature. Right up there with, “What is truth?”
Martha of the Bible was like us. She had experienced loss in the death of her brother Lazarus. The one she hoped would come to heal him was their friend, Jesus. Yet Jesus had stayed away and was now four days too late. How could he have missed this? Why would Jesus allow this happen? What purpose could this accomplish?
Four days later he arrives and Martha goes out to greet him and said, “Lord, if you have been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give you.” She was pleading with Jesus to reverse the outcome and bring goodness out of sadness.
Jesus did not scold her for her lack of faith, and actually confirmed what she had hoped for all along, that her brother would live again.
A few verses later the Bible shows where Jesus loved his friend Lazarus so much that he wept and was moved by the loss as well. Then Jesus says after being questioned again, “Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
A couple of weeks ago a family experienced a loss of multiple members of their family certainly looked for reasons why this would have happened just days before Christmas. It is at these type moments that I believe God allows us to ask him some very pointed questions and give him the details of our lives as we pour out our hearts to Him.
I texted this couple and wrote, “One of the most honest statements in the Bible is, ‘Lord, if you had been here, this would not have happened.”
As you go about your Sunday today, be honest with God. If you are sitting in church, sitting on a couch, sitting on a park bench, walking along a path, wherever you are, pull up some unresolved hurts that you had long ago covered up trying to hide the pain, share those details with God, ask Him to show you an outcome from these events where good can come about. God loves details and honest hearts.
I would encourage you to do this. He can handle it. And you will see how Hope for you and your situation will arrive in your life just as Jesus did in Martha’s life.