What If
Thoughts From The Journal

The What Ifs and Should Haves

What kind of what-ifs and should-haves do you have rolling around in your head? Maybe things didn’t go as you hoped they would- your dreams had the life sucked out, your friendships have gone south, and finances are in shambles. It feels like death has touched everything you once loved.

In John chapter 11, Lazarus gets sick, and Jesus is out of town. His two sisters sent word to Jesus of his condition. Yet while Jesus was still away, the brother of Mary and Martha dies.

When Jesus arrived in town, Martha went out to meet Him. Jesus would meet with each of the sisters at different times. Each sister had the same statement, “if only you had been here.” How many times have you and I said that? We say similar things and maybe you’ve been struggling with similar thoughts:

  • If only I had done this or that.
  • God, why didn’t you stop me from making that mistake?
  • Why did that have to happen?
  • I wish I didn’t say that.
  • Why couldn’t God heal?
  • I should have done this, or I should not have done that.

Because of the wrong choices and mistakes, maybe your life is full of death- not physical death but financial mistakes, relationships that are dead, or life choices that have taken you places you thought you would never go.

Maybe you’ve faced things that you had no control over, like Lazarus, but the voice in your head keeps wondering why Jesus didn’t come through for you.

The scripture says that the wages of sin are death. There are plenty of issues that arise from our bad choices and sin. At other times we deal with things not because of sin, but like Lazarus, he got sick and died. It wasn’t anything he did. Sometimes things happen for no apparent reason.

If you know the story, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Mary nor Martha knew the full story. We also don’t know the whole story in our own lives. The good news is Jesus raises the dead. The scriptures speak of God restoring old waste places, restoring broken areas, restoring the breach, making dry places blossom, and taking areas that are overgrown with thorns and thistles and causing healthy trees to replace them.

Of course, we also have what seems to be impossible, Jesus raises the dead.

Maybe you thought things would have turned out differently. Your head is filled with what-ifs and should-haves causing death to joy in your life. I have good news for you, Jesus raises the dead. Things may seem impossible to you, but don’t let that discourage you. Jesus is at work, and He raises the dead. Trust Him, and one day you’ll rejoice as Mary and Martha must have when they saw their beloved brother living again. Now it’s your turn.

“Lazarus, come forth!” Jesus, John 11:43

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