“If you had been here, my brother would not have died." Jesus answered, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 NIV

He was shot right through the heart! The madman lying on the emergency room bed aimed at the nurse but the doctor stepped into its path. Who would shoot the very man who was trying to save you? Are you kidding me? Really? Why God?

It's so hard to grasp the bigger picture when life slams into reality. The reality was his heart pumped blood onto the ER floor. He died. What purpose could there be in that? What good could possibly come from this devastation? These were all thoughts his wife, kids and our church screamed when we heard the news. Our dearly loved doctor was in the ER, and this time as the emergency.

God promises He has a plan, and it's perfect. He says that our ways are not His ways. But come on God, what is perfect about loss? Sometimes God, I think you must have been busy helping someone else and just missed this opportunity to rescue.

Am I the only one who has ever thought that? There are moments when we just don't get it. We struggle. We think, "That's NOT the way I would have handled it."

My friend is an artist and honestly when she begins to swipe paint across the canvas it looks unrecognizable. There's sweeping lines of various colors but nothing really is in focus. But as she continues it begins to take shape. The waving lines get a splash of white and become waves on the beach. Calm falls onto the scene when everything finally appears as the artist intended.

Let's zero in on the last sentence in the key verse, "Do you believe this?" Jesus, I believe, looked into Martha's eyes and these words shot right to her soul. His words hit the target. Martha had a pride issue.

She wanted things done her way. This time was no different. God had a bigger picture than what she could possibly understand.

That night in the ER a specialist just happened to be available to handle our friend. He was resuscitated and brought back to life. It was discovered that if he had not been shot, they would never have found a malfunction in his heart that would have killed him unexpectedly.

He is painting a perfect picture in your life and mine. It may look like a mess. The lines may be blurred and the colors don't make sense. The Master Designer has a completed portrait He intends to show you. Lean in. He's looking into your eyes. He wants you to hear this, "He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He."

He has not made a mistake. Self makes a lot of noise. It drowns out, covers up and pushes aside the bigger picture. Life doesn't make common sense, yet we serve an uncommon God. The one who formed you. The one who has a plan. Jesus is asking, "Do you believe this?"

Dear Lord, help us with our disbelief. We know you have a perfect plan. Hold us through the hurt until our eyes can see Your picture. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Luann Prater

Executive Director and Founder of
Encouragement Café Ministries
Speaker, Author & Radio Personality