by Pastor Greg Laurie
January 5, 2004
When God Seems Late
“Then he told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead. And for your sake, I am glad I wasn't there, because this will give you another opportunity to believe in me.’ ” (John 11:14–15)
Sometimes God will not come through as quickly as we want Him to. Mary and Martha, two friends of Jesus, faced this dilemma. Their brother Lazarus was sick. It was a serious illness. So they sent word to Jesus.
I think they probably believed that Jesus would make a beeline to Bethany to get Lazarus off his sickbed. But Jesus intentionally delayed His arrival. Mary and Martha were thinking of what was temporarily good. But Jesus was thinking of what was eternally good. This delay was for their sake. It was for them to learn a lesson.
Meanwhile, Mary and Martha had probably been saying, “Jesus will be here. He will drop whatever He is doing and be here.” But He didn’t show up on the day they wanted Him to. And He didn’t come the next day or the day after that. Lazarus had now passed from sickness to death. In their minds, all hope was gone. By the time Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days.
Here was the problem: Mary and Martha wanted a healing. But Jesus wanted a resurrection. He brought Lazarus back to life, and as a result, many believed in Jesus. Mary and Martha’s faith was strengthened, as well as that of the disciples.
Like Mary and Martha, we will say, “God, if you loved me, you would do this. You would take care of that.” But God says, “Because I love you, I am not going to give you these things.” God wants to do something greater in your life. Will you let Him?
Copyright © 2003 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.