Seems like everything in our lives these days is in a hurry. Can you imagine how it may have been in Jesus’ time? No cell phones. No cars. No email. No Skype. No airplanes. Things took time.
In John chapter 11, we find that Mary and Martha’s beloved brother, a friend of Jesus, was very sick. Lazarus was so sick that his sisters sent word to Jesus. When Jesus heard, He said that this sickness is not unto death. And then He waited. He stayed where He was for TWO days (vs. 6). He was in no hurry.
While He was waiting, Lazarus died. I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t He say this sickness was not unto death? That’s right. Verse 4 says, “When Jesus heard that, he said, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.'”
There was purpose in His wait. As I stated before, there were no cars or airplanes. Regardless of the distance, they had to walk. So not only did Jesus wait where He was for two whole days, but when He decided to go to Lazarus, He also had to walk to get there. He didn’t get to hop in the car and turn on His emergency flashers while speeding to the hospital to pray for His dying friend. Knowing that it was going to take some time to get to Lazarus, Jesus still chose to wait two whole days before leaving.
There was purpose in His wait. Verse 14-15, “Then said Jesus unto them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.'” Lazarus’ sickness was “not unto death,” yet when Jesus showed up, Lazarus had been dead in the grave for four days already. Verse 21 shows that Martha wasn’t very pleased about that. But there was a purpose in His wait.
Wait is not a dirty word…
In verses 41-44, a miracle takes place and we see that yes, this sickness truly was not unto death! How awesome is our God! Verse 45 tells us, “Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.”
See? There it is. Many of them believed on Him! It took some time that it seemed like they didn’t have, but eventually the purpose of His waiting was revealed. Those Jews were there to comfort Mary and Martha during the loss of their brother. If Jesus had healed Lazarus right away, those Jews wouldn’t have had any reason to be there. But because Jesus waited, a miracle happened, Lazarus was alive, and more believed in the Son of God!
Trust me, I know that ‘wait’ seems like such a miserable word to us these days. Who has time to wait? But once more I say, trust me…..whatever it is that you’re waiting on/for/etc., don’t give up and don’t rush. There is purpose in your wait!