After over a year stunned in culture shock and transitional silence…I have found my voice once again. I am little rusty, but here goes…
For weeks now my spirit has been yo-yoing on back to a Scripture from John 11. This memorable story unfolds another breathtaking death-to-life miracle of Jesus. The story of Lazarus’ resurrection is all too familiar as images of Sunday school crafts and forcefully sung renditions of, “Lazarus, COME FORTH!” echo in my mind. However, as I read the account of this miracle a few weeks back, a couple of key, and somewhat irritating, words struck me in a manner I cannot seem to shake.
The story opens with the facts.
John 11:1, 5-6
1 “Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.”
5 “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.”
Simply put, Mary, Martha and Mr. Under-the-Weather, Lazarus, were Jesus’ beloved friends. These were His, “Peeps”, if you will. Jesus was out and about in a city nearby when news of His friend’s extreme health condition reached His ears. Verse 6 says,
“ SO when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.”
In other words, Jesus had the ability to go straight away and save His dying friend whom He loved, and yet, He waited 2 more days. In fact, the juxtaposition of verses 5 & 6 tell us, “Now Jesus loved…So,…he stayed.”
Jesus’ true love for His friends dictated that He wait. He strategically delayed for a purpose that would make no sense to those who surrounded Him.
To be honest, as this peculiar expression of Jesus love sunk in, my heart wanted to run from the thought. Could this be true in my life? Are there possibly places in my life where Jesus knows and is the answer and yet He waits for the circumstance to become more desperate? I took this uncomfortable revelation before the Lord and was surprised at what He showed me.
It is true that because Jesus loved His friends, He waited.
Jesus loved His friends and knew them well. He knew that Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were Kingdom people. Because He knew this to be the core of who they were, He delayed. Loving His friends well, meant acting unexpectedly for the Kingdom’s sake.
Jesus reminded me that God trusts Kingdom people …
To put Kingdom purpose before their own agenda and comfort.
To not be offended when the King chooses a different way than what makes sense.
To value the glory of God above all else.
When I look at my life and the places where I continue to wait for the Lord to act, I can take courage knowing that God counts me among His Kingdom people. He knows and trusts that at the core of who I am His Kingdom will always matter most.
Though the path marked out for us can be steeped with discomfort and pain, our stories, like Lazarus’, can be an avenue for a miraculous encounter for God’s glory to be revealed. I can walk in renewed faith and hope knowing that because He loves me, He may wait. How amazing that the Kingdom marks my life.