“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”
Jesus loved them. So He waited. Instead of rushing immediately to the home of His friend who was sick and on the verge of death, Jesus stayed where He was, not because He mistakenly believed Lazarus would get better and not because He didn’t care, but because He loved them.
How often, I wonder, does God wait to move in our lives because He loves us? We pray and we plead and we wonder where He is. We see obstacles growing. We feel our strength draining. Dreams seem to fade and circumstances begin to look impossible, and we are tempted to question our God’s plan.
In these moments, I pray that this account of Jesus’ waiting will bring us hope. That it will remind us that when God waits to act, it is because He loves us so greatly.
Our God knows what He is able to do—what He has planned to do for us and through us in this circumstance. All we can see is apparent inaction, but in reality God is setting the stage for something much more glorious than what we were hoping for. Something that will fill our hearts with wonder at how He acts for us, how faithful He is to us personally.
Until that moment, let us continually bring to mind who our God is. Let us fix our eyes on His perfect love, set our minds resolutely on Him, and allow His peace to fill our hearts and drive out our fears. He loves us, and so He waits, when He knows that it is through the waiting—and through the moment when we see Him come through for us in glory—that we will be further perfected and know more fully the depth of His love and the greatness of His power.
Let us also rest in His comfort as we walk each step. John 11:33-35 exemplifies His compassion and understanding in this: “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled…Jesus wept.” Seeing the deep grief as friends and family mourned the death of His friend, Jesus did not rebuke them for lack of faith or understanding. He wept with them. He loved them, and so while He knew the miracle that was about to take place—the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead—He met them in their grief.
God does not enjoy or disregard our grieving. He meets us here, right where we are, and comforts our hearts as no one else can. And then He does His great work of healing us, mending our brokenness, trading our sorrow for His joy, and opening our eyes to the beautiful purposes He is accomplishing in and around us.
“From of old no one has heard
or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you,
who acts for those who wait for him.”