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4 Days Late, but Just on Time!

Friday, January 27

“On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days..." (John 11:17)

The Bible tells us that four days earlier Jesus received word from Mary and Martha that their brother Lazarus was sick and dying. Upon hearing the news Jesus declared, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (vs 4) However, Jesus stayed where He was another two days before heading to Bethany.

Often when we hear this part of the story, we are confused about why Jesus didn’t just rush off in haste to heal His beloved friend. For Jesus had the ability, He had the power, He had the authority to heal Lazarus, so why delay so long in going to his rescue that Lazarus died? Jesus tells us the answer in verse 4, “…it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

But wait? Did I hear that right, did I read that right, my pain, my suffering, my grief is for God’s glory? What????? Wait?????? Why????? 

If we stopped reading at verse 4, we would be left perplexed by our questions and never understand the “how” of God’s purpose. Stopping at verse 4 makes the story all about our confusion over Mary and Martha’s suffering, instead of about Jesus. Even going further to verse 21 where Martha says, “Lord…if you had only been here, my brother would not have died.” doesn’t really get to the heart of our questions.

Over the years of wrestling with this story I have come to realize, my questions are about my need to have answers, not about God’s strength or His timing. I have come to realize the things I believe about God in the calm waters of my life need to be the same in the deep darkness of the storms I face. My trust that God knows what will happen in every situation I face, good or bad, needs to be the same no matter what I am facing so that God is the one who is glorified. And just as important, I need to surrender my need to “know” what is going on over to God and trust in His timing for in the end Jesus stood in front of the tomb and cried out, “Lazarus come out!” and he did

Prayer for the Day: Jesus, today we surrender our need to “know” everything over to You. We surrender our questions of “What”, “Wait”, “Why” over to You. Give us strength in the unknown so You may be glorified in all things we pray in Your holy name – Amen.

Personal Prayer: “Lord Jesus, You ask – “Who do you say that I am?” Lord, open my mind so I can understand who You are, and who I am in You.”

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