BOTTOM LINE: All Christians have had times when we feel like God is Inattentive, Uncooperative, and/or Late. What do we do when we’re pleading w/ God to show up and He doesn’t? His Schedule is not Our schedule?
QUESTION: Have you ever had a time when you were pleading w/ God, and You knew He could hear you … and for whatever reason, nothing changed? Maybe even as you got thru that season of your life, you look back and realize God did show up, just in a different way and on a different clock? Have you ever asked … God, why didn’t You do something about THAT?
DOWNLOAD: Mary & Martha had sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick. They were such good friends, that the messenger simply told Jesus, Jesus, the one You love is sick. Wow … how would we like to be such good friends w/ Jesus someone doesn’t even have to tell them our name, and yet Jesus knows exactly who they are talking about?
That was Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha. The disciples clearly expected Jesus to jump up, get things packed ASAP and head immediately back to Bethany … NOPE! We’ll be here a couple more days in fact. Hmmmm … sound familiar? We grow up hearing how much God Loves Us, and how God has the hairs on our head numbers … and how if we “do” the right things (pray, give, serve, read, etc…) then God surely will bless us, and then all of a sudden we hit this crossroad in our life when we need God’s help, and NOTHING.
Can’t you hear Mary and Martha telling Lazarus … “Hang in there buddy. We’ve sent for Jesus. We’ve all seen Him heal lines of people. Heck, He even healed Roman soldiers and Gentiles. He’s on His way, you just hang in there.” And then Jesus doesn’t show. Lazarus dies … and 4 days later, Jesus has the audacity to show up.
I can only imagine the emotions Mary and Martha are experiencing. I know I’ve had some pretty harsh words w/ God in these seasons in my life. So why? Why didn’t God do something about THAT?
ILLUSTRATION: When we ask Why doesn’t God do something about THAT? … and the answer is we don’t know sometimes … but because of this day here in Bethany w/ Jesus and some people that we know He loved … we know that He can.
We know that God sometimes waits … but we know that we can trust Him in the meantime. Doesn’t mean it will always turn out for us like it did for Lazarus and Mary and Martha … remember John the Baptist’s story didn’t end Happily Ever After … but it does mean that we can have Faith that just as Jesus said …
John 11:40 … “40 … if we believe we will see the Glory of God.”
So when God is Inattentive … we look outside our own circumstances at the things that God is doing outside of our world … just like John the Baptist did … and when God is Uncooperative … we lean into His Grace. Because Paul told us that His Grace will be sufficient for us, even in those circumstances that never change. And when we feel like God is Late, we look for His Glory. Because if we believe and if we trust, eventually, we will see the Glory of God.