Contemporary English Version (CEV)
I once listened to a fascinating radio report about how different life is in languages without the ability to speak about the past as a possibility. They cannot express the idea of things that might have been, and so there is no way to think about such things. The report talked about how the people don't invest their time in wondering "if only".
We've all done that -- we've wondered how things might have been different if... Here, Martha asks this of Jesus, and we've probably asked the same thing of God, too. If only God had intervened, then things would be different.
Our vision is certainly limited to this time and place. We can't see or know beyond it, so it's natural to ask God questions. When we do, we are encouraged to remember that God sees life without the limitations of time and space -- death is not an end of life, but rather a beginning of a new way of life. To grieve the past and lost opportunities is part of living in a fallen world, and it reminds us that we are in need of a Redeemer, a Savior who will set all things right.
We are not wrong to mourn and grieve and wonder. These urges point us to how things will one day be, when we will no longer contemplate the past, but rather live and be lost in wonder, love and grace.