By: Carole L. Haines
“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Both sisters had spoken these words to Jesus the very moment they saw him. Why had Jesus not come to heal Lazarus?
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” (John 11 NIV)
Why indeed! Jesus had a greater work in mind in delaying two more days to go to Lazarus. Here is what He said:
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” (John 11 NIV)
It is for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me. O, how can such a love exist. A love that sacrifices the ones he loves for the sake of those who are watching, standing on the sidelines. Sometimes God does not deliver us from our circumstances, He delays. But when He delays, He has a greater work to do, in and through us, that perhaps we cannot see or understand at the time. Trusting Him in these times is the hardest of all. Have you ever been through one of those times, when Jesus didn’t do as you asked, come and rescue you, heal you, save your loved one from death? I have, several times. And watching Him bring good out of what looked like nothing but bad, has increased my understanding, love, and trust in God. Trust Him, Beloved ones, He is faithful. He is always faithful and sometimes delays in order to do a Greater Work.