What is your common response when someone in your life is facing hardship? Do you get anxious, fearing you might be the cause of their difficulties? Do you get self-defensive, and blame others for their problems? Maybe, you drop whatever you are doing to see what you can do to help? Or, possibly you tend to go into problem-solving mode, trying to fix their problem?
These are some of the temptations we face that sometimes hinder God’s intended growth for others.
Jesus lived a life of care for others. He also experienced the expectations of all those around Him. Everybody was developing a personal opinion of Jesus.
In John 11 we read of the death of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha. All three were some of Jesus’ closest friends. When word came that Lazarus was sick His disciples assumed He would drop what He was doing and go help/heal His friend. Jesus, however, discerned that He should finish what He was doing - and that the Father wanted to use this situation for His glory. When Jesus arrived in Bethany, Mary and Martha both said that Lazarus would not have died had Jesus gotten their sooner. Apparently, they had been discussing their opinions of what Jesus should have done for them. The mourners also thought that if Jesus could have, He should have saved Lazarus from dying.
Lazarus could have been healed. Instead, He was raised from the dead! That’s an honorable option. Jesus could have been understood, again, as Healer. Instead, He proclaimed and demonstrated Himself as The Resurrection and the Life!
The disciples wanted Jesus to act out of His care. The sisters wanted Jesus to act out of His close, committed friendship. The mourners wanted Jesus to act out of His resources. Jesus, however, acted – as always – according to the leading of the Father, and for His glory.
We are tempted to do what we can for our friends, to take away the pain of others, to solve problems and to prove ourselves. We best, however, seek the will of the Father. Our best service involves doing (or not doing) what we can to help others receive what God has for them and deepen their relationship with God. Our goal need not be to fix everything.
Might God be saying anything to your soul in this area?