Nick Vujicic, a man who was born without arms and legs, is a living exhibit of what Jesus said of the man born blind in John 9:2-3: “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” And of the terminal illness of Lazarus in John 11:4: “It happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” What most people today would call a tragedy (and would have even tried to abort) is instead being used as a showcase for God’s glory and power.
So next time I experience some frustration, inconvenience, pain, or much worse—Lord, help me to remember that You intend to show Your power and character and glory through me. Help me not to dishonor You by complaining, resisting, or giving up.
Throughout our lives we are always in danger of death for Jesus’ sake, in order that his life may be seen in this mortal body of ours. …For this reason we never become discouraged. Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day. And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble. For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever. (2 Corinthians 4:11, 16-17, TEV)
She’s dead. Jesus didn’t make it in time. Now it’s too late. This is the despair of Jairus’ servant who came and found that Jesus had stopped on the way to speak to a desperate woman. (Mark 5:21-43)
Mary and Martha also wondered why Jesus didn’t come faster when they’d sent word that their brother was dying. (John 11) In fact, when Jesus got the sisters’ urgent message, he stayed where he was for two more days!
Was it harder for Jesus to raise a dead person than to heal a sick one? Why doesn’t Jesus respond urgently to our emergencies? Is it because He has a better plan? Is he stacking the deck against Himself in order to show a more magnificent miracle?
And in the meantime, how does He address those in distress? He spoke tenderly to Mary and Martha and wept at Lazarus’ tomb. He comforted Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just trust me.”
That voice comes to me in my big and small crises. Jesus is always on time. Be still and trust Him.
Having visited with lots of people in several different locales over the past few days, we have heard many stories of God’s work but also of many struggles that go on and on. I thought of Job, whose experiences I’d read recently. He hadn’t the faintest idea why he was being tested. If only he could have known that God was using him to showcase His own glory!
Then in the book of John I found two similar statements:
A man was born blind “so the power of God could be seen in him.” 9:3
Lazarus’ sickness “happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” 11:4
And the greatest event of all—Jesus’ death, though plotted by demons and opponents, was actually planned by God for His own glory—and our salvation.
When I have a big or small problem, I hope I will remember to consider first how God’s glory and power may be displayed through the situation and my response.