“For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!” Isaiah 64:4 (Application Study Bible). “Blessed are all who wait for him!” Isaiah 30:18
Jesus loved Martha and Mary and their brother, Lazarus. They were His dearest friends. When Lazarus became gravely ill, his sisters sent an urgent message to Jesus: “Lord, the one you love is sick” (John 11:3). They were certain that Jesus would come quickly.
But Jesus didn’t rush to their side. Even though He knew the gravity of the situation, He stayed where He was two more days (John 11:5,6). Meanwhile, Lazarus’ condition worsened. Overcome with worry, the sisters fretted, “What’s keeping Him? We told Him it was urgent.”
Their brother Lazarus died.
Imagine the pain! Coupled with the grief of losing a dear brother was the feeling of betrayal. In their deepest need, Jesus had not come. When Jesus finally came, the sisters both said, “It’s too late.”
Can you relate? Despite your earnest prayers, you’ve waited weeks, months and even years for things to change. God seems very far away. You cry out with the psalmist,
“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?” (Psalm 13:1,2)
“Some prayers are followed by silence because they are wrong, others because they are bigger than we understand,”
writes Oswald Chambers. God is silent because He wants to give us a bigger revelation of Himself than we’ve ever had before.
That’s what Jesus’ delay was all about. Instead of healing Lazarus, Jesus raised him from the dead. Jesus revealed to them that He Himself is the resurrection and the life.
Are there times in your life when you feel like giving up on prayer? Nothing seems to be happening. It’s as though God isn’t listening or caring. But God’s delays are not denials. He is listening and He does care. He wants to show Himself to you in a new way.
I pray that you will be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience and joyfully give thanks to the Father—even before the answer comes.
”Father, I thank you that you are working even though I can’t see it at this time. I want to trust you with this. I give it to you now.”
By Helen Lescheid