Waiting for Jesus

Hi, friends!

It would seem that I actually missed posting a blog last week, and for that, I’m sorry! Ironically enough, I had just messaged my Aussie friend Cameron and told him that I had yet to ever miss a week since I started – and then I missed that week. I sincerely missed writing something… I have found that blogging is good for me, whether or not anyone else may benefit.. it’s therapy for the soul and a spiritual discipline of mine.

Also, presently my tongue is absolutely tingling because I burned it with supremely hot coffee this morning as I am writing. Just wanted to share that with you!!

Anyway, the season that I’m in is a very hard one, and I greatly appreciate your prayers. But the Word of God has been stitching me back together, seriously. I hang on His Word. When I sit in His Presence, I am reminded of how near He is and the unfathomable extent of His love. Thank You, God.

It seems fitting to me to blog about something that I have touched on before a long time ago, and I pray that you would find encouragement and solace in His truth.

In John 11, we find that a dear friend of the Lord Jesus, Lazarus, has fallen sick. In that day and age, and still in some parts of the world today, any sickness – even the most flimsy cold – could prove to be fatal. Lazarus’ family sent word to Jesus about his sickness, which indicated that it was probably very serious.

To state the obvious, to lose a loved one to death can be crushing beyond words, especially when it’s unexpected. Unfortunately, this is something all of us can probably relate to.

When word reached Jesus that Lazarus was deathly sick, His response was a stately, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son” (verse 4). And I love the way The Message translation follows up that sentence – I want you to really hear this: “But oddly, when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed on where He was for two more days” (verse 6).

Huh?

What an unusual response! Most people I know, and even me, rush to the side of the person who is dying. Time spent with those you love is undefinably precious. But Jesus, in His sovereignty and supernatural omniscience, intentionally chose to remain geographically distant from the dying Lazarus and his aching sisters Martha & Mary. After two days, He began the journey with His followers to see them.

Scripture lets us know that when Jesus finally arrived in Lazarus’ town, Lazarus had indeed died and been buried for four days. Both of Lazarus’ sisters commented to Jesus, perhaps through uncontrollable tears and clenched teeth, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” This statement alone is surprisingly meaningful: they recognized Jesus as the Healer, which is true and powerful. But they could only see one side of the situation – a very cloudy and emotional side of the situation, at that.

Jesus proved that He was not only Healer, but Resurrector. He commanded with divine authority that death surrender its prey back to life, and that’s exactly what happened! Lazarus emerged from his burial tomb as if he had never died!

To heal Lazarus of sickness would have been miraculous and phenomenal – and expected – but the Lord had something more miraculous in mind. He allowed Lazarus to die, so that He would be glorified in an unprecedented, huge way.

The response from Christ that Lazarus’ family was pleading for paled in comparison to the response Christ desired to give.

Friends, I don’t know what your situation is. You may feel as though you’re wading through a swamp of unanswered prayers, or perhaps you are suffering through the agony of loss. Perhaps you are desperately searching to find Christ in your situation.

Could it be that, just as Christ intentionally waited before visiting Lazarus’ family, Christ is intentionally waiting to answer your prayer? You may not understand the reason for His waiting until the answer is finally delivered, and then it will make sense to you. But you can be assured that when He answers your need, He will be right on time. Our King is faithful. His provision and grace far exceed what we expect.

And while you are waiting for the Deliverer to deliver, you can absolutely believe that He will comfort you. Yes, in our waiting, He is comforting us.. and asking for our trust.

Psalm 27, one of my favorites, ends with the beautiful charge:

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.”

With love,
Josh

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