Scripture: John 11:21-35( "When Jesus heart that Lazarus was sick, He stopped two more days in the place where He was." John 11:6).
My daughter's birthday and my son's birthday is in the fall of the year. When they were young I had to remind them that their birthdays were close to Christmas, so if they did not get that big item gift that they asked for their birthday, perhaps Santa would bring it for Christmas if they were good!
It took a lot of patience on their part to wait those weeks following their birthdays up to Christmas. But their dad's financial obligations dictated that they would have to wait nonetheless. Waiting on their part meant that they would have to trust their parent's judgment and promise, that a delay on one end didn't mean a denial somewhere in the future. Children are more loving and adaptable than most adults. Children naturally love, trust, and believe in the promises that a parent makes to them.
It was natural for Martha and Mary to send for their friend Jesus when their brother Lazarus took sick. After all Jesus was a friend to them. He often lodged their in Bethany when he was in the neighborhood. The Bible tells us that Jesus had a love for this family. When Lazarus took ill, they longed and looked anxiously for his return. They were like the Father in the story of the Prodigal in Luke 15, who looked for signs along the road for his arrival and return.
But Jesus didn't come! the funeral services were planned and had already been over for 4 days when Jesus finally walked into town with his disciples who had followed him. (verse 17). Martha was steaming! she got right to the point saying, "If you had been here, my brother would not have died!" (verse 21). Her anger quickly resided however, and her faith in him kicked in. In her next breath she cried out, "Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You" (verse 22).
I don't know what Martha expected at this point and she probably didn't either! She was trusting in the fact that she had see Jesus do many miracles in the past, but had never seen Him raise anyone from the grave. However she knew he had a direct line to the Father that always hears Him when He prays. She was confident that whatever Jesus asked of His Father, He would do it. Lord help us to have the faith that Martha had that day. Mary, overcome with grief, could only cry it out. She was devastated and without much hope.
This circumstance only let's you and I know that, sometimes we have not, because we ask not! We must become bold in our faith. We must step out of our comfort zones and begin to ask God to do the BIG STUFF, that only He can and might be willing to do, if only we would ask in "Bold Faith."
Most of us know the story. At the s poken word of Jesus, Lazarus" spirit returned to his decaying body. (verses 41-44). Jesus could have just healed his sick friend's body, yet He delayed his coming, allowing his death to be witnessed by family, friends and spectators. Jesus wanted God to be glorified in not just a healing, but a raising of Lazarus from the dead. No human had ever been raised from the dead before. Jesus wanted to perform a far greater miracle of bringing his friend back to life.
Sometimes it is difficult, and tiresome waiting on God's timing. But it is in those dark, lonely, difficult seasons that we must wait on the Lord. It is especially hard when you see less deserving people being blessed and you are just sitting on the sidelines waiting your turn. My counsel to you is: Don't despair and don't give up!
God may just bypass the obvious, allow others to go first, let you ride out the storms going on in your life, in order to give you a greater miracle than you had ever hoped for.
A delay of God's part doesn't mean a denial. God has not forgotten you. I love what Isaiah 49: 8 says: "In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages." then in verse 15 it says: "Can a woman forget her sick child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, the ,may forget, yet will I mot forget thee."