Do you ever wonder what God is up to in your life? I know I certainly do at times. Things are just not going the way you expected? The way you had hoped? Prayers have gone unanswered? Like Mary and Martha’s situation recorded in John 11, has God delayed coming to your rescue?
The second verse of a song by Casting Crowns called Praise You In This Storm precisely echos my heart at times.
I was sure by now You would have reached down and wiped our tears away, stepped in and saved the day. But once again, I say Amen, and it’s still raining.
What do we do when God delays? How do we deal with it day after day? Even year after year?
Verse 5 says “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” And then the very next verse says “So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.” Verse 6 is perplexing at first! He loved Martha and Mary and then He waited two more days?? It is precisely because He loved them that Jesus waited. He waited until Lazarus had been dead four days before arriving at their house. Jesus wanted to do something much greater than heal Lazarus. He wanted to raise him from the dead. He wanted to raise him after four days!
The sisters had seen Jesus heal the sick and knew He had brought the dead back to life again. But He had not raised anyone from the dead who had been buried. By the fourth day their hope of Lazarus living again would have been sealed up tight in the tomb with him. Martha and Mary would learn that Jesus is the resurrection and the life and that He has authority even over death.
Verse 4 tells us another reason for His delay. “…for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
There is a principal here that we can hold onto when we find ourselves in a similar situation.
God’s delays are always for His glory and always for our good.
“Nor has eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him.” (Is. 64:4)
We can trust in the Lord during those times when it is hard to understand what He is doing. Hardships we face can make us bitter or make us better. So, how do we make sure we are made better? The same way we do every aspect of the Christian life – surrender.
Peace is found in surrender. Surrender to Him in the situation and declare to the Lord, “My life is yours to do with as you please… for Your glory. Have Your way in me.”
Have you experienced a time in your life when you realized God’s delay was for your good and His glory?