So, my friend John wrote a book a while back and it got pretty famous, like overnight. You may have read it. It’s in the Bible. Yeah, me and John-o go way back. Anyway, John 11 is about one of Jesus’ close friends named Lazarus. Word reached Jesus that Lazarus was sick — any type of sickness back then could be fatal, so sickness was always a big deal. However, Jesus was out of town and He INTENTIONALLY stayed there for two more days.
When He finally arrived at the village where Lazarus and his two sisters Mary & Martha were, everyone received the news that Lazarus, his dear pal, had indeed passed away. Both of his sisters said woefully to Jesus, “If You would have been here, our brother wouldn’t have died!” They recognized Jesus as the ultimate Healer, which is amazing.. but they could only see one side of the situation. Jesus saw–and always sees–from a different, better perspective.
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt as though God was ignoring your prayers? You think to yourself, “If only He was here, then I wouldn’t be struggling with my finances!” or “If only He was here, then my marriage wouldn’t be falling apart!” or “If only He was here, then [fill in the blank]!” BUT… perhaps your case is like the case with Lazarus: maybe Jesus is intentionally waiting to answer.
But I need an answer to my prayers right away!
People are suffering around the world!
People are in need!
People are dying and sick!
What on earth could Jesus be waiting for?
Friends, if Jesus healed Lazarus of sickness, how awesome would that be! So cool! But Jesus had a bigger idea in mind. Something more miraculous than physical healing. Resurrection from the dead! It’s true! Jesus went to the tomb where Lazarus was and called out his name–and Lazarus walked right out, after having been dead for several days!
Let me state something obvious. If Lazarus never died, Jesus would never have been able to resurrect him, and God would not have been glorified in such a huge, unprecedented way. Think about it.
If God seems a million miles away in your life when you need Him the most, be reminded that God’s promises for life and abundance and prosperity and favor never fail. When we don’t understand, that’s the perfect time to trust God. The phrase “it’s darkest before dawn” was totally invented by God, I’m sure!
Sometimes our prayers are not answered right away. Sometimes God is intentionally waiting to answer only because He has something even more special in mind. It may seem devastating to us at the time, but tragedy sets God up for the perfect triumph.