Today as my mind has been reflecting on some of the more difficult places our family has had to walk as we mark the 4th anniversary of the homegoing of our middle son. As I was thinking, my mind brought back the passage in John chapter 11 where Mary meets Jesus on the road headed toward her brother’s tomb. Upong seeing Him, she falls at His feet and with tears flowing cries, “Master, if only you had been here. . .” (emphasis mine). You can hear the hurt and pain in her voice. This was not the way it was supposed to happen. These were not the thoughts and emotions I should have to be dealing with. Where were you? Why did you not intervene? Oh God, if only. . . Can you identify? Left holding the pieces of shattered dreams and empty tomorrows many times we question the responce of God when we felt He could have and should have acted differently. There is something inside of us that does not want to admit it (fear, respect, false assumptions about God, etc.), but if we allowed ourselves to be stripped to complete honesty before Him we would find ourselves in anguish at His feet just like Mary crying “if only. . .” I think back to many days following the passing our our dear Payton when I would sit alone at his graveside with tears flowing and sream toward the sky, “God where are you!? Why, didn’t you do something!?” Almost too ashamed to admit it, my heart was overwhelmed by the grief that surrounded us. Like Mary I expeced more.
However, what has gripped me even more today than the grief was the responce of the Savior when face with brutal honesty. Does Jesus chastize her for her questioning of Him? Does He reprimand her and lecture her on faith? Does he give some canned responce recited like a bad fortune cookie? No, He was moved in His spirit and Jesus wept. With the compassion that only a loving God could display, He allowed His heart to feel the hurt and the pain and identified with Her in her greatest hour of need. Jesus cried with her. The if only Savior was and is big enough to handle the questions. The if only Savior was and is compassionate enough to identify with and bear our sorrows. The if only Savior was and is patient and gracious enough to carry us in our greatest tests of faith. The if only Savior was and is powerful enough to bring us to a place of healing, in his timing, that the world could never understand and never duplicate. The if only Savior is still here for us today.
If today you are wakling through a valley of if only’s, can I encourage you today to be brutally honest with your Heavenly Father and see if He will not respond to you just as He did Mary See if He will not wrap His loving arms around you and carry you today. See if He will not only handle your questions but also bring you to a place of peace and healing. If there is anything I have begun to learn over these last 4 yrs it is that He can hanlde our if only’s, if only we will allow Him the chance.