“If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.” Mark 11:3
The Lord and his disciples “drew near to Jerusalem” at the Mount of Olives the week before he made his way to Golgotha. At this juncture in the storyline, Jesus had a simple need. He had to ride into Jerusalem on a colt just as the prophet of old had predicted: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).
Jesus told his disciples to find this specific animal, untie it, and bring it to him. If anyone questioned their actions they were to give this explanation: “The Lord has need of it…” Of course, he didn’t use the animal for long, but this seemingly insignificant detail sheds light on our own perplexing concerns. We ask, “Lord, why are you allowing this to happen? How can this difficulty work for good in our lives? What exactly are you doing here? Why must I endure this, too?”
The explanation Jesus gave to the disciples as he drew near to the cross is our answer as well. The Lord has need of it, the Lord has a reason, a purpose, and a plan for what he is allowing. In the same way he had need of a colt that day in Jerusalem, he has need of what is happening to us now. He will use our particular circumstances in ways we cannot even imagine especially since his thoughts and his ways are vastly different from our own.
The next time we begin to ask God why and wonder what possible good this situation could produce, perhaps that young colt will come to mind. The Lord has need of it, whatever the “it” might be, and he will work it out in his perfect time.
Elizabeth A. Mitchell