**The following notes & summary are live-blogged by Tony Kummer from Ministry-To-Children. This presentation was one part of the 2011 Lifeway Kids Ministry Conference. Click here to see more coverage from this event.
Helping parents when their children suffer – Michael Kelly (website)
When you see children in pain, that’s when the questions about nature & evil in the world really rise to the top. Parents begin to wonder about the goodness of God. They begin to ask about the power of God. Michael shared about his own experience when his son was diagnosed with Leukemia.
John 11 “Jesus raises Lazarus”
Jesus waits until the situation is hopeless before he goes. We should ask, “Why?” Why does he do nothing when the people he loves send for his help? There must have been a good reason why he withheld himself. What was the higher purpose that trumped his love for his friends?
Jesus says this disease has come for the “Glory of God.” There is a war going on in the universe to determine who will get the glory. The Bible teaches that God is out for his own glory. We can understand how God is glorified even in hard times. Our confidence in our Redeemer shows his power in our weakness. Whether we like it or not, the Glory of God is more important than any one of us or any of our children. Does this mean our children are object lessons for the Glory of God?
In the passage, Jesus eventually comes to Bethany and claims that the Resurrection will come. The sisters react in their grief. Jesus reacts with weeping and anger. He is angry that about the damage sin has brought into the world. “Jesus wept.” It makes you wonder what is the bigger miracle, is it that he is about to raise the dead or that he is weeping even knowing what is about to happen. We have great truths, but we also have Jesus example. We must choose to emotionally involve yourselves in the suffering of God’s people. The ministry of presence is more powerful than the ministry of words. We must be people who are not afraid to weep.