So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus,he stayed where he was for the next two days.Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.” John 11:5-7 (NLT)
I had not given much thought to the fact that Jesus waited two days before he returned to the friends He loved in their hour of need. It appeared as if He didn’t care and arrived much too late to be of any help. The sisters were beside themselves because they knew He could have made all the difference. But now, Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days and the odor of death was evident.
I’m sure their grief, and His own, overwhelmed Jesus and the Bible records the only reference to Jesus’ weeping. He DID feel their pain. But He also heard the whispers of the onlookers complaining that He could have done something, if He had only shown up sooner.
How many times have I pleaded or cried or begged God to do something for me? Silence. At least that’s what it seemed like to me. I felt like my prayer hit the ceiling and stopped. Those waiting rooms of life are the hardest of all to endure.
Yet, Mary and Martha learned that Jesus had a far greater purpose and mission for their story. He was on a timetable that transcended any single person or incident. When He showed His power and raised Lazarus from the dead, the stopwatch to the crucifixion and resurrection began to count down in earnest. It was part of the plan.
One thing I have learned about those times of waiting is that sometimes God allows me to see the “why” but, more often, He calls me to walk in faith and trust Him for the answer. He has my back. I don’t need to know what is going on in the heavenlies, only believe that His timing is right on time.
Ann Voskamp says it another way, “It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can’t see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us…”
Two more days.