I recently attended a funeral of a girl who died at a very young age. She had just graduated from her undergrad with a degree in nursing and started working in a local hospital. She recently got engaged and was planning to marry her fiancé by April of this year. She had a resounding testimony and was well known by her family and friends as a person who stood up for her faith. She spread so much joy and happiness to those around her, she would even sign off her emails by saying “always rejoicing.”
The most hurtful part about all this was that her death was so unexpected. She had gotten into a severe car accident, her truck was demolished, but her body was not badly injured despite some brain injuries. Her family and so many friends from the chapel prayed over her with the expectation of full recovery. But sadly, she didn’t recover.
The brain injuries ended up being much more severe than previously expected. She ended up passing away on Christmas day after fighting for her life for seven full days. Many people were in complete shock. Why would God take away a life so young, especially the life of one of His children who diligently serves Him and strives for His kingdom? There is one concrete answer that is not so simple for our feeble minds to understand: it brings Him glory! This event reminded me of a passage from scripture where a dear one’s life was lost and the family also had lost all hope, but God had greater plans for this individual. He wanted to show that at the end of the day, the only thing that is ultimately important is bringing God glory.
Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. Then after this He *said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples *said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” This He said, and after that He *said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep. So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sake that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.” | John 11:1-29
Have you ever been in a situation where you have lost all hope? A situation where you think even having faith at this point would be useless? That is exactly how Mary and Martha felt when their brother Lazarus died. They called on Christ to come but when he delayed two days and their brother had already died, they lost all hope. They thought Christ’s power was limited to healing the sick and that He was powerless when it comes to the dead. We see that Christ purposely waits two days for Lazarus to die so that He can reveal His power to them and raise him up from the dead.
Often times we share the same type of faith as Mary and Martha. We limit God’s power in our life to a handful of things. We think that God is either incapable or unwilling to do anything outside of our parameters. Though difficult, we need to get out of that mindset. We need to overcome our lack of faith and put our full reliance and trust in Him so that when something seems impossible, we can rest assured that God is capable in those situations and His plan will come to pass according to His purpose and time. Faith is never easy to practice but it truly allows us to grow in our relationship with our Lord and draw closer to Him.
The girl I mentioned never was expected to leave this earth at a very young age. Many people prayed over her with the expectation of a speedy recovery or even a slow recovery over time, but neither of those things happened. She lived a short life here on earth, she died at a young age, but even still God’s name was glorified through her testimony.
Even if only one soul is saved through her death then it is a great win for God’s kingdom. God doesn’t structure and plan His will around our intentions or our thoughts. In the scriptures we even read, God’s thoughts are greater than man’s thoughts and God’s ways are greater than man’s ways. At the end of the day God will do what ultimately brings glory to Him, life or death. Sometimes as human beings that is hard to see and much harder to take in, but we have the responsibility as His children, even through those tough situations, to stand strong in our faith in Him.
There may be a situation you are going through where you believe you are beyond all hope, but rest assured in one thing: God will do what brings glory to Him according to His time and purpose, to Him be all glory!