Mary and Martha must have felt so betrayed by God.
They send for Jesus to come quickly when Lazarus was sick, but their brother died because Jesus stayed put for three days before heading to them! (You can find this in John 11.) “If you had come, he wouldn’t have died! Why didn’t you come and heal him???”
They knew Jesus could have healed their brother because they followed him. They watched Jesus do miracles constantly. In fact, according to John 21:25, He did so many miracles they couldn’t all be recorded – meaning there are hundreds of them we don’t even know about!
“It’s our turn! We need a miracle, now!” This time it wasn’t just some stranger reaching out to Jesus. Lazarus, Mary, and Martha were some of his closest friends. He often stopped at their house for a meal or to stay overnight.
But Jesus knew there was something greater to happen through the death of Lazarus than through a miraculous healing.
Yes, I am going there… just hear me out.
My Personal Revelation
One evening while talking to a group of pareavors online, I had the realization that I am doing what I do today because Becca didn’t receive the miraculous healing that she needed for her heart.
In other words, my daughter went through ten years of severe heart issues that included at least a dozen ambulance rides and three med flight helicopter rides the last eighteen months of her life. She survived a pregnancy and labor when the doctors gave her a 50/50 chance of survival because they just didn’t know what her heart was going to do. She lived through three open heart surgeries. (One was to put in a pump to run the left side of her heart, and another was to take it out after a bizarre incident that made the pump start shorting in and out, shocking her heart over and over.) She had a stroke that caused permanent damage, was brought back to life after 17 minutes from SCD (Sudden Cardiac Death), and survived being in the Trauma Life Center when all of her organs shut down from sepsis (blood poisoning).
This girl was a walking miracle, that started when she was only three years old, getting bone cancer, having her little left leg amputated, and going through nine months of chemo. She was the only survivor of the children who were in her hospital getting treatments at the same time. (The chemo is what caused the heart damage that plagued her those last ten years.)
And then on the evening of October 12,2011 her heart just randomly gave out and she died! As strange as it may sound, I was blindsided. So many people prayed and fasted for her, some of them since she was three. I really believed God was either going to miraculously heal her heart, or she was going to be able to get the needed heart transplant.
I don’t have to tell you how devastated I was and the darkness it put me in when she died. I held on to God with everything I had, like Jacob wrestling with the angel, telling Him I wasn’t going to let go until He miraculously turned it around for me to see some kind of a blessing on the other side of this. That seemed like a crazy thing to fight for, because how is it even remotely possible to have a blessing in my life as a result of something so horrific as my daughter’s death?????
But here I am. It’s hard to explain how fulfilled and blessed I feel, to be a light to thousands of grieving parents who find themselves in the same darkness I was once in, through the ministry of GPS Hope. Does it make me glad Becca died so I can be doing this? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I would trade it all instantly to have her back with me here on earth, but I can’t.
God didn’t betray you.
This might be impossible to believe right now, but He has something for you that goes beyond the death of your child. Just like Lazarus, Jesus knows something greater can happen through the death of your precious child, than through a miraculous healing or His hand of protection that we so desperately wanted for them. (And no, God didn’t kill your child to teach you a lesson! He just knows that the eternal fruit of their departure can outweigh the eternal fruit of them staying here.)
I know what you’re probably thinking. Maybe God did that for you, Laura, but I don’t see that happening for me! It’s okay if you can’t see it for yourself right now. I (and other parents who have been right where you are) will be your eyes to see it and your hope to believe it, until you have your own hope and your own eyes to see.
When my husband, Dave, and I were dating, God kept telling him to “wait” to propose. Dave did a study on the word wait and found out one meaning is “a carved work.”
In our darkness, we are waiting a long time because God is doing a carved work. He will even let us believe He has betrayed us and be angry with Him as He is at work in our darkness. He continues though, knowing that someday we will understand. And that “someday” may not be until we are reunited with our children.
Dare to tell God that you are going to wrestle with Him until you see something good in your life because of the earthly departure of your child. Fight for it. And realize sometimes that fighting is learning how to rest in Him while He is at work preparing your personal miracle, which is something only He can do in such a place of darkness and pain.
Are you struggling with you faith or your relationship with God after the death of your child? Many grieving parents do.
We would like to send you a video session, “Has Your Faith Been Shattered?” from our 2017 online conference. Just fill in your name and email address below, and hit the submit button. (You will also join over a thousand other parents receiving a Weekly Word of Hope, which you can unsubscribe from at any time.)
Expressions of Hope is written by author, speaker and singer Laura Diehl. She and her husband, Dave, are the founders of Grieving Parents Sharing Hope (GPS Hope). Dave and Laura travel full time in their Hope Mobile (a 38-foot motor home) to be more easily available for speaking and ministry requests, including being invited to hold one-day GPS Hope & Healing conferences.
If you would like more information about Laura as a speaker for your next event or want more information on hosting a GPS Hope & Healing conference, click here.
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