Shepastor: “What Happens When We Have to Wait?”
11 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
If we have to wait a short period of time, we may not feel too bad. We may grumble a
So, when Lazarus, their beloved brother and close friend of Jesus became ill, they were confident that Jesus would come immediately and heal him. Even if he didn’t come, maybe he would do like he did for the Centurion’s servant, only say the word and Lazarus would be healed. But for some reason, Jesus delayed his coming. Can’t you see Mary and Martha pacing the floor, running over to the window, hearing footsteps coming down the cobblestone path and saying, “Is that Jesus?” only to discover that it was just another traveler, walking down the dusty road. Worry and fear began to transform into confusion, anger and possibly resentment. Where was Jesus? Why didn’t He come when they called?
In light of the pain that Mary and Martha were in and in light of the fact that we know that Jesus knew that they were in pain, Jesus’ words in verse 5 are puzzling…
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
“To continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success. To…
persist, continue, carry on, go on, keep on, keep going, not give up, struggle on, hammer away, be persistent, be determined, see/follow something through, keep at it, show determination, press on/ahead, stay with something, not take no for an answer, be tenacious, be pertinacious, be patient, stand one's ground, stand fast/firm, hold on, hold out, go the distance, stay the course, plod on, plow on, grind away, stop at nothing, leave no stone unturned;
Psalm 107:23-24 King James Version (KJV) declares,
23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; 24 These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
Waiting places us in “deep waters.” The Lord loves us. He does not want us to remain all of our lives in shallow waters. The Lord knows that if we get everything we want, when we want it, how we want it, the way we want it, we will never learn how to build up and flex our “faith muscles.”
If we can hold out until our change comes, we will see the Lord move the stones away. After some heart wrenching discussion and tears, Jesus asked them to do something that seemed utterly ridiculous. He told them to “remove the stone.” But Lord, by this time Lazarus’ body is decaying and stinking. “Remove the stone.” But he’s been dead four days now – no doubt his spirit has since flown to the bosom of Abraham. “REMOVE THE STONE!!!”
Sometimes in our own lives, things have died. Dreams have died. Hope has died. Relationships have died. Opportunities have died. We may feel as though it makes no sense to remove the stone because by now, we’ve accepted the fact that what we’ve been hoping for, praying for, crying for may never happen.
We’ve got to trust that if God’s Word says it, He is able to deliver on His promises. Even when it looks like the Lord is delaying His coming to help you – God is faithful. Even when it looks like it’s over – Jesus is the resurrection and the life. He can help you to remove the stone of doubt, the stone of fear, the stone of defeat, the stone of despair, the stone of hopelessness. Let Him bring resurrection power into your life. Allow the Lord to do GREAT THINGS in your life, while you wait!
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,