“…When she (Martha) had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying quietly, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’ And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled; and he said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’” (Jn 11: 28-37)
- And that’s precisely what I am wondering, when, so unexpectedly, I see the Lord “weep.” He could have prevented this from happening in the first place! But instead He took His time, getting to Bethany… And even now, He tarries just outside the village, for some reason, and the story is dragging on and on, described by the Evangelist John in rather excruciating detail. Of course, we know about the light at the end of this story, but imagine the hours, then days, of the human beings involved here; of their waiting, hoping, then running out of time, and hope, - while God stalls.
So God has His schedule, which does not always correspond to mine. At times this can bring frustration, fear, or even intense grief, as in the case of the death of a loved one. Things change, and often not at the precise time, or in the exact way, I would like. Thus God allows for this suffering, great or small, but always inherent to our being in time, that is, in changeability.
But note that He does enter into our suffering, with great compassion. How do I know that? Because “Jesus wept” with us. And God subjected His Son to the changeability and changes of our being in time, even unto our death, so that His Son could do for us what none of us could do for ourselves: Transfigure our suffering into light, and transfigure our death into life. This is the ultimate change He makes possible for me, in His cross and resurrection. Let me not fear change today, not the kind my Lord brings me, even if He takes His time.