Daily Devotional

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Raising of Lazarus

Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, Jesus stayed two days longer in the place where he was.     John 11:5-6

Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, but, according to this story, Jesus intentionally refrained from going to Lazarus’s bedside when he was gravely ill. Jesus told the disciples that Lazarus’s condition was to be used for God’s glory. Apparently, Lazarus’s death was intended as a staged display of God’s power. Lazarus would die, Jesus would raise him from the dead, and God would be glorified—all according to plan!

Whatever we make of this story, there is a terrible truth we need to grapple with. Our timetables and God’s timetable are different. What we want and how God responds to those desires can be wildly divergent. We don’t control Jesus; Jesus—and God—do as they please. However, the result of divine action is always good. We cannot know when God’s Spirit will move in our lives, but we can trust that when that Spirit does move we will experience blessing beyond our wildest dreams. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus had to endure delay and death, but in the end, all three experienced resurrection.

Where in your life does it seem as if God is delayed in meeting your needs?

Lord God, it is cliché to be sure, but this story reminds me anew that you are God, and I am not. You will do what you will do, when you want to do it. You are in charge, I am not. My job is to try to be patient, trusting that when you do move, the dead will be raised, hope will be restored, and my sadness will be replaced with joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.