God’s delay not always His denial

Have you ever experienced the frustration of waiting in line in a driver license facility especially after what seems like an eternity? or the disappointment as a result of some “unforeseen” delays in the delivery of a very important package?

You are not alone, this happens to all of us and when this happens, we naturally get despondent and even in some cases angry at the situation. However, it is one thing to experience delays, it is another story to feel completely ignored or unattended to especially by those we expect to help us. In fact, things can get even more daunting when it seems like God is deliberately ignoring our requests or deliberately delaying the answers to our prayers.

Martha and Mary, two sisters from a town called Bethany experienced this first hand when they sent word to Jesus about their sick brother Lazarus. This account is found in John 11:1-44. The story goes like this, Lazarus a very good friend of Jesus falls sick, his sisters (Martha and Mary) send word to Jesus who is on a retreat in the River Jordan about 20 miles away about the situation. When Jesus gets the message a day later, He is not ruffled, He tells His disciples in essence that the sickness was not going to lead to death and remained in his getaway sport for two more days (John 11:6-7).

“Wait!!” “Hold up a second,” what did Jesus do again?” “You mean to tell me that He just ignored the cry or plea from these women about their sick brother?” ” Something just doesn’t add,” you might think. Meanwhile, the messenger goes back to Bethany without any definite answer.

Any reasonable person would think that the least Jesus could have done was speak a word of healing like He did to the Roman  centurion whose sick servant received his health by Jesus’ spoken word. He could have sent a note explaining the delay and even apologized for wasting time.  However, Jesus does none of these.

Jesus carries on with His activities and when He finally arrives at Bethany, Lazarus had been dead for 4 days. This definitely was a tough pill for these women to swallow as they not only had to bury their brother but also had to deal with a Rabbi and close friend Jesus whose love for them was now being questioned.

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21) That sounds like a very realistic statement to make. After all, this was the Messiah we are talking about, His presence alone would have solved the problem. Jesus was late and not just fashionably late, His delay it would seem, resulted in the death of a man.

How many times have we thought to ourselves just like Martha expressed.  How many times have we questioned God’s delay, how many times have we asked if our situations would have changed if God just showed up on time (at least in our own minds)?

When there are delays in our lives, we need to understand that God has a plan. His plan is to bring glory to Himself. This might not give immediate gratification to us but in the long run it will.  According to Jesus, Lazarus’ death was to bring glory to God ultimately; God’s delay is not denial. God wants to increase the size of your testimony. Just continue to give Him thanks like Jesus did as you wait on Him and at the end like Lazarus, every delayed and dead dream will come alive.

My prayer for you today is for God to give you the strength to wait on  and believe in His timing. I pray that God will show you that in the end, all will end well and that it’s not too late. God bless.