Today we are going to talk about finding peace while in seasons of waiting.
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.”John 1:5
A couple of years ago I decided to take up painting. I took one class and that was the end of it. Why? Well, it took two fundamental skills that I did not have: patience and obedience.
I’m not very good at waiting. I’m also not very good at following other’s plans. It has never been natural for me.
When I went to the painting class, the instructor took what felt like 8 years to give us the instructions, and when we were finally allowed to paint, we had to wait for layers to dry. What I thought would be an easy hour-long class turned into an afternoon escapade.
I couldn’t watch the paint dry. It was simply impossible. I knew that if I waited the rewards would outweigh the simple act of waiting, but I rushed it and left with a pretty messy painting.
This tends to happen frequently in my relationship with God a lot too. I know that there is a purpose in the instructional period as well as purpose in the waiting because, in the end, the rewards will be greater, but it’s still a hard process to follow when you just want to fast-forward to the end.
Sometimes it may feel like your longing and your waiting will never end. Maybe you have waited years for something and it still hasn’t come to fruition. Whether this is a desire for a job, a new relationship, or a desire for new friends, you might be feeling a little forgotten.
We tend to think just because what we want isn’t happening in our timing, God must have forgotten about us. I don’t know about you, but when I feel forgotten is when I take matters into my own hands.
The thing is, God is never late.
The thing is, God is never late. When you meet Jesus one day, He’s not going to say “Sorry about this scenario, I messed up on the timing.”
No, God’s timing is always the best timing. But just because it is best doesn’t mean it’s easy to always wait. We have security in God’s timing is perfect and can believe it is the best, but at the end of the day it’s so easy to think “God did you forget about me here?”
How can we grow to be more at peace in seasons of waiting?
First, know that God’s delays are not without purpose! In order to understand why He has us wait, we must first understand God and His character.
Have you heard the story of Lazarus? You know, the guy who died and Jesus brought back from the dead? We are going to look a little deeper here at something that is often overlooked in this passage.
“Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha…So the sisters sent word to Jesus, ‘Lord, the one you love is sick.’ 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.’ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days…” John 11:1-6
When Lazarus took ill, his sisters sent word to Jesus, asking Him to come and heal their brother. Jesus told them that the sickness would not result in Lazarus’ death, but did not go to heal the man. In fact, he stayed two more days after getting word of Lazarus’ severe sickness.
Did Jesus forget about Lazarus?
If you keep reading you will watch as Lazarus dies four days before Jesus reaches him, and had already been put in a burial tomb. When Jesus arrived, Martha ran out to meet him.
“‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.'” John 11:21-22
If you read the rest of John 11 you will watch as Jesus follows through with His promise and brings Lazarus back from the dead.
Back to John 1:5: “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.”
Why didn’t Jesus heal Lazarus right away? Because He loved them.
Because He loved them, He didn’t go.
He loved them, so He didn’t heal Lazarus on their timing.
Because He loved them, He was “late.”
John 11:45 tells us: “Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.”
Because Jesus was “late” on healing Lazarus, many Jews came to believe in Him.
Because Jesus was “late” on doing what Mary and Martha wanted, there was a miracle that leads many people to Christ.
In the end, isn’t that our ultimate purpose and hope? That we can point people to Christ?
With Lazarus, God’s plan was way better than Mary and Martha’s. In your life, God’s plan is way better than yours. Remember this when you start to doubt God and start to believe the lie that He forgot about you.
Thoughts For The Day
Think about your own life. Was there ever a time where you went through seasons of waiting and realized later why? If God can bring glory to something or a situation, isn’t it worth waiting it out?
What to read next: http://ezermagazine.com/do-you-know-what-god-calls-you/