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Waiting

09 Aug

A post from several years ago about trusting in God’s timing.

1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”  John 11:1-1

I know some people find part of this passage troubling.  After Jesus learned that his friend Lazarus was sick and dying he stayed put for two more days.  A few days ago a coworker of mine received a phone call shortly before I was supposed to get off work for the day.  Her husband’s grandmother had been rushed to the emergency room.  I wound up staying late at work so she could get to the hospital as quickly as possible.  That is what we consider the normal reaction when we learn that a friend or family member is sick.  Jesus however responded differently because He had another agenda in mind, God’s plan.

Several months ago it looked like I was going to get a promotion and significant pay raise at work.  In the end I was passed over for someone else.  At first I dealt with a wide range of emotions, including hurt, anger, and disappointment.  Now, I am again facing a similar promotion.  This time it has come very unexpectedly and in a hurry.  I do not pretend to know the outcome, but the past several days I have continually asked these questions: Why now?  Why does it seem more promising this time?  Why did God not orchestrate this several months ago?  I cannot say with 100% accuracy why all of this has taken place, but I do know that God’s ways are not our ways.  Plus, He has used the past few months to grow me in some significant ways.  I feel like I am more prepared and ready for the possible increase in responsibilities and duties.

Jesus waited to go to Bethany because He knew the outcome.  He knew how much more glorified God would be by waiting two more days.  This gives me great comfort in my current situation.  Knowing that Jesus knows the outcome and that to get there sometimes requires weird decisions allows me to be joyful despite whatever disappointments may come.

Recently I watched the movie Dan In Real Life.  The ending of which, was quite poignant.  The main character is narrating a newspaper column he had written, and he ends by saying “plan to be surprised”.  I think this is exactly the mindset we need to have when it seems that God is taking to long.  We just need to smile and plan to be surprised by the outcome.

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Posted by on August 9, 2012 in Bible, Culture, Life

 

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