Mikel and I dated through his last year of college. The bummer of it was he went to school in Missouri and I lived in Ohio. It was just a hop and a skip and a 12’ish hour drive to see each other.
We had huge phone bills and wrote long, long letters that we sent through snail mail. Yep – this was “back in the day” before free long distance and email was just coming on the scene.
It was tough, but we held on to this statement, “It’s just a matter of time.” Just time. That beautiful, wonderful, frustrating thing called time. We love it when things are wonderful. We actually want it to stop and stand still at times. But when we’re going through a rough season, we begin to hate it. Loathe it.
Now we’ve been married for 19+ years. Those months we were apart seem so small now, but it seemed like an eternity when we were apart. It seemed to drag on and on and on when it was our daily reality. It was grueling.
In John 11, Lazarus got sick. Very sick. And Jesus’ good friends, Mary and Martha, sent for Him. “Lord, your very dear friend is sick.”
Translation = Come now and heal our brother. We know You can. We know You’re the healer. We’re putting our faith in You. Amen.
Verse 5 was always puzzling to me.
“So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days.”
That certainly doesn’t sound like love to me. Wouldn’t love just drop what it’s doing and come to their rescue? Wouldn’t love go and pray for his very dear friend?
One would think, but what really happened is Jesus stayed where He was for two more days and He let His very dear friend die. He let His other two very dear friends mourn the loss of their brother.
When Jesus finally gets there, both sisters meet Him and accuse Him. “Lord, if You had only been here, our brother wouldn’t have died. Why? Why did You let this happen? Why did You wait so long? Why did You take your time?”
Those had to be some of the most painful days of their lives. I lost my brother. I know that pain. It’s awful. The wondering and the questioning. “Why did this happen? We believed. We prayed. Yet…..our brother died.”
I love what Jesus said, “If you believe, you’ll see the Glory of God.”
They could have said, “Yea…that’s what we thought when we sent for You. We thought You would come and we’d see the glory of God and our brother would be healed. We were wrong. That didn’t happen.”
They could have let that destroy their faith. But they didn’t. They kept on believing, and their brother was raised from the dead. It was just a matter of time….and a whole lot of pain.
This all happened over a matter of days. Some of us have been facing a mountain for months. Years even. And it can get so discouraging. “Lord, I’ve prayed. I’ve believed. I’ve declared Your Word. I’ve trusted You. Where are You? What’s taking so long?”
Some of you have lost loved ones way too early. “Why, God, why?” We may never understand why. But I truly believe you can still see the glory of God if you believe. Your loved one will not be raised from the dead now. But your life can still be glorious.
Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but comfort and healing can come from His glory and presence. Life can still be full and rich and satisfying, but you can’t let what happened steal your faith and trust. There’s more to your story. And He can turn even this around for good in your life if you let Him.
It’s our choice. Do you choose to believe in spite of the time factor? In spite of how long it’s taken so far? Too many times the miracle is forfeited right before the breakthrough because we give up.
So let’s not give up. Let’s choose to believe. I choose to believe He is faithful. I choose to trust He is working and moving on my behalf in a realm I cannot see. I choose to believe He will do what He said He would do, no matter how long it takes.
I choose to believe I will see the glory of God. I fully expect my miracle. It’s not if….it’s when. Hang on……It’s just a matter of time.
So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (Hebrews 10:35-36)