Slowly but Surely!
Reading: John 11:1-45
"We know all things work together for good to those who love God,
who are called according to His purpose" (Rom 8:28)
News reached Jesus that His friend Lazarus was sick. Anyone else would have at once hurried to the spot to help his friend or perform a miracle if he could. But not Jesus. "He stayed two more days in the place where He was" (Jn 11:6). We know it was a purposeful delay, because later He told His disciples, "I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe" (v15).
Had Jesus visited Lazarus immediately, the miracle would have been one of healing. Now because He delayed, the family could have a greater miracleŚresurrection! Divine delays are not denials. They are meant to develop us and the situation so we may better comprehend His ways.
Praise God for instant healings. But the undeniable fact is that most of the healings are delayed and gradual. Almost all the healing miracles of Jesus in the Gospels were instant. But there is no one like Jesus who walks in perfect obedience and submission to the Father. As such God has not entrusted any other man with such power. Our acceptance or otherwise of this fact does not alter it.
Biblical patience is not rooted in fatalism that says everything is out of control. It is rooted in faith that says everything is in God's control (Rom 8:28). There's no place for faith if we expect God to fulfil immediately what He promises. Patient endurance is a condition to receive what God has promised. "You have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise" (Heb 10:36). "Do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Heb 6:12).
The Book of Psalms abounds with testimonies of deliverance that David experienced when he waited patiently. "I waited patiently for the Lord...He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock" (Psa 40:1; 62:1).
A German proverb says, Patience is a bitter plant but it bears sweet fruit!
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