Normally I post the entire scripture for you. Because this one is so long I have linked it for you. I don’t want it to fill the whole page. That being said, lets talk a little bit about waiting. I know I hate to wait too! =)
A lot of times when we seek God for help we want an instant reaction. I know that I typically want God to meet my needs or the needs of a friend or loved one immediately! I don’t want to wait. However, I found as I have grown in my faith, God meets needs in His time.
He answers prayers in 3 ways. Yes. No. Wait.
There are some needs God meets in the moment. He knows that this is the perfect time to address that need.
Sometimes God says no. I don’t like no. I like when God takes care of the need right then. The problem with that is that it isn’t good for me. When I was younger I had a huge crush on my boss. I thought he would be my prince charming. I prayed daily that God would help this guy see it the same way. God said no. God knew that if I would have received a yes then I would have missed out on my amazing husband. That guy was a good guy. He is very happily married to the perfect woman for him. If I would have received a yes then I would have missed out on my prince charming. (I would not trade Michael for a million prince charmings! He is perfect for me!) When God says no please remember that He has something better planned!
The other times are the ones I am talking about today. Sometimes God says Wait. He is not telling you no. He knows better than you what you need. He also knows when you need it. In the story of Lazarus Mary and Martha thought they knew what they needed. At that point they needed healing. They were very hurt when Jesus said wait. As far as they could understand, there was not much time left. God needed to step in now!
I want you to notice something in the scripture here.
“On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.”John 11:17
Talk about bad timing. Not only did Jesus miss the buck. He missed it big time. You have to picture the scene to understand how bad this looks. The people have already buried Lazarus. They are mourning him. It has been 4 days since Jesus was “supposed to fix it.” They have given up hope and they are hurting.
Then Jesus shows up. I don’t know about you but I probably would have been very angry with Jesus. I would have let Him know how off his timing was in some less than polite ways. I am definitely a Mary who replied as follows.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:32
I don’t think I would have been a Martha here. Martha responds in a way that shows just how mature her love of Jesus was.
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
I have often heard that but is a disqualifying word. It takes the sentence and breaks it in to two parts. Any thing in the beginning is disqualified by whatever comes after the word but. I think this is what Martha did. She didn’t skip acknowledging what she believed Jesus did to her BUT she made sure He knew she trusted Him more than she was angry with Him.
If you read on you find that Jesus brings Lazarus back from the dead. He turns their weeping into rejoicing. Could He have come sooner. Most definitely. He knew more about the situation than they did.
Sometimes we have to trust the character of God when we don’t understand the answer He gives! =)