How would you handle this situation?
You just received word that a very close friend of yours is deathly ill. You’re about a two day journey away from them and you know a visit from you would be greatly appreciated. Wouldn’t you go to see them if it was possible?
Lazarus, Mary and Martha are friends of Jesus and the Scriptures seem to indicate they are close friends. Reading the text closely it is quite possible Mary, Martha and Lazarus are wealthy (burial in a cave, professional mourners, Mary uses costly anointment in John 12, etc.) so it is also reasonably possible they may have financially supported His ministry. Jesus and those three have a connection beyond just people who casually knew each other. One of them, Lazarus, gets quite sick and a message is sent to Jesus. He is about 50 miles away, probably a brisk 2 day journey.
Here is where our actions often differ from Jesus. Many of us would probably make a schedule change in our personal calendar and see if we could head to our friend and help in any way we could.
Jesus, however, does something completely different. He intentionally waits 2 more days before he heads to Bethany (near Jerusalem). It’s strange when you really think about it. His friend is very sick – sick enough that people close to both of them thought Jesus needed to know about it his condition – and Jesus decided to stick around right where He was for another 2 days. In our way of thinking and our time frame, it can be hard to understand why He would do such a thing.
Of course, we know how this story ends, but at the time, other than Jesus, nobody had any idea of what is about to happen. I wonder if anyone around Jesus was a little disturbed about His lack of interest in going to Lazarus. I wonder if anyone became a little frustrated with Him. Had I been present, there is a good chance I would have been perplexed about His lack of response to the plight of Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
He waited 2 more days.
He waited because He knew there was a bigger issue going on here than Lazarus being sick. He was not just going to heal Lazarus but raise him from the dead.
I can get frustrated when God doesn’t respond when I want Him too. For some reason, I tend to expect God to obey my commands, come to me when I summon Him and do what I say. Sounds rather arrogant and presumptuous don’t it?
Like Mary, Martha and everyone else aware of Lazarus’ sickness, we don’t know the whole story. There is often something else going on other than what I can see. There is not a connection between my perceived lack of activity of the LORD’s part, what is really happening. This is where trust comes into play. If I really believe Jesus is who He said He is, then there are times when I must trust Him.
Pray and believe. Ask Him and expect Him to hear! But always trust Him for the answer. Always remember, His timing is not ours and often times, there is something bigger going on that the resolution to our problem.
Blessings my friend!