There are times in our lives when we know that God has the power to eliminate the trial we are facing, but He doesn’t. Often times, it isn’t until we are out of that situation when we can see God’s hand at work in our lives. Sometimes it is a subtle touch on us personally where we have grown in wisdom and understanding and grown closer to God; other times it can be noticeable to everyone watching from the outside. Those are the times when we can see that God wanted to show His miraculous power to everyone. We are going to look at a situation where God’s timing didn’t match up with human timing because He wanted to do something bigger than what we humans could ever imagine. Please read John 11:1-44.
This scene must have been amazing! One of the first things I noticed is that when Jesus didn’t go immediately to Lazarus to heal him and the disciples didn’t think that was odd. There may be a few reasons for that. First, Jesus didn’t heal every person that was sick when He walked on the Earth, second in verse 8 we read that going to Lazarus’ house was dangerous. But, we see the real reason for the timing that Jesus chose in verse 4, “When He heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.’” Poor Mary and Martha didn’t have the hindsight we have with this story and couldn’t understand why Jesus didn’t heal Lazarus. We see in verses 21 and 32 they both told Him that He could have healed Lazarus if He had been there. Jesus wanted to be more than just a healer; He wanted to show them that He is life (verse 25-26). Even four days of death couldn’t stop Jesus from bringing life.
We have all been there in our lives when we couldn’t understand why God didn’t answer a prayer the way we wanted or in the timing we wanted. I can remember when my youngest was a baby and my husband was out of town. My youngest had been sick and up all night, so on the first night that my husband was gone, I prayed that God would help my daughter sleep so I could have energy the next day. She had the worst night of all that night and I couldn’t understand why God didn’t answer such a simple prayer. I remember telling God, “You could have done this! You could have let her sleep! Now I have no energy and strength and I have no idea how I am going to make it today!” When I finally calmed down, God spoke to my heart and said, “I wanted you to learn to use My strength not yours.” I was not facing death, but this seemed like such a little request I couldn’t understand why God wouldn’t answer until I finally calmed down to listen. What a lesson I learned from such a small problem that changed my life! Everything is to God’s glory not our strength!
God always has a purpose for His timing. He knows what is best for us and for His glory. Do you trust God’s timing?