There’s a story in the Bible of when one of Jesus’ closest friends named Lazarus fell deathly ill. His sisters who lived with Lazarus sent word to Jesus who was staying about twenty miles away. Their message just said, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” As soon as Jesus heard this, he slipped on his sandals and started off for Lazarus’ house.
Jesus decided to stay where he was and sent the messenger back with these encouraging words, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified though it.”Wait a minute! I thought Jesus loved Lazarus. Why was he not going immediately to heal him or just speak a healing word right then? He did it for others, why not Lazarus?
Now, if you were Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters, what would you think? I don’t know about you, but the Martha in me would be a little ticked off. I’m just being real! You see Martha couldn’t sit still and always had to be busy, so like her I wouldn’t be able to understand why Jesus didn’t send word that he was on the way. I would no doubt be confused once Lazarus died. I wonder if Mary was quietly praying and remembering all that Jesus had taught her while she sat at his feet? If so, would this have annoyed Martha? Jesus did eventually go to their village in Bethany, but not until Lazarus had been dead four days! It’s interesting that the message from the sisters didn’t say, “Please come immediately.” Maybe they trusted Jesus’ timing after all.
Is there someone in your life who is spiritually sick? They could be saved, but their lifestyle is grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit living inside them or worse, they do not have the Holy Spirit in them because they have never accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. If you are impatient like me, you pray for these loved ones or friends and want God to do something YESTERDAY! Unlike Mary and Martha, we beg him to come immediately. But we must trust that God’s timing is perfect even if we don’t understand and sometimes he delays so that he will be glorified. And when we are praying and waiting, we should never lose hope that their sickness will not end in death.
So don’t give up! Keep praying for your loved ones and friends who need a spiritual healing or even a resurrection from their dead life of sin.
Stay tuned. This story is not over.
Death does not win!