“So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days…” (John 11:6)
Mary and Martha were the sisters of Lazarus, and the three of them were close friends and followers of Jesus. As Martha proclaims to Jesus in verse 27: “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
One day Lazarus got very sick. “So the sisters sent word to Jesus, ‘Lord, the one you love is sick.’” (v. 3). Their expectation was that when Jesus heard about the sickness, He would drop everything and hurry to their house to heal Lazarus.
But Jesus didn’t come right away as they hoped and expected, and Lazarus died. By the time Jesus finally arrived “Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days” (v. 17). Their disappointment in Jesus’ delay may explain their response to His arrival: “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (vs. 20-21).
As one commentator put it, “God’s delays are not always God’s denials.” Jesus did indeed restore Lazarus, but did so in a way that led many more people to believe that He was the promised Messiah.
When God is silent or fails to act immediately in response to our prayers, His answer may not be “No,” but rather “Wait.” When that’s His answer, it’s for His greater glory and our greater good. 1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” If He doesn’t answer right away as we hope, then His answer may be to wait. That’s what David learned and expressed in his confident conclusion to Psalm 27: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” God’s timing is always perfect.
Question: Have you learned to wait for the Lord when He doesn’t answer right away?
Challenge: Read John 11.
Prayer: Lord, help us to learn to wait patiently for your perfect timing.
Dan Kinnaman -- Coordinator, MLB Draft League