Daily D – John 11:5
So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. JOHN 11:5 (NLT)
This is a season of delays. Pretty much everything is delayed. Baseball is delayed. Graduations are delayed. Annual events of all kinds are delayed, or worse, canceled. At times it feels like the whole world has been placed on hold with the same sappy version of The Girl from Ipanema playing over and over as we wait.
Delays are not denials.
Jesus received news that his good friend Lazarus was seriously ill (v. 2). The man with healing in his hands decided to stay where he was for the next two days before making the journey to his friends’ home (v. 6). He loved his friends (v. 5). However, there was a bigger purpose at work than Lazarus, Martha, and Mary could see or his disciples could perceive.
“Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this,” (v. 4).
Jesus had progressively revealed himself to the world. He could turn water into wine. He could open blind eyes, heal broken bodies, multiply bread and fish, and speak words of truth and life. Now as he prepared for his suffering and death, he gave them words of assurance and a demonstration of the truth they proclaimed.
“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never die,” (vv. 25, 26).
Lazarus died while Jesus delayed. Neither the delay nor the death was the end of the story. No, this story ends not at Lazarus’s grave, but with people who were offended by resurrection power plotting Jesus’ death (vv. 45ff.). Apparently, they missed the lesson of Jesus’ words and actions.
What do we need to learn in this pandemic delay? What do we need to see that we might otherwise miss? How will people see the goodness of God and take hope from it?
As the renowned philosopher Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” This is a good time to take notes on how God is at work all around us. What evidence of his activity do you see? If you cannot see it, ask around. You will be pleasantly surprised. You tend to see what you are looking for. Open your eyes and see the glory of the Resurrection and the Life.
I will look for evidence of God’s unmistakable activity.
Our Father, open our eyes that we may see what you are doing all around us. Give us your words of truth and life so that we may join you in your work. Use us to bring healing and hope. Draw people’s attention to yourself that they might know you and experience you and find a way to build a better world under your leadership. Amen.
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Acts 21:10, 11 Several days later a man named Agabus, who also had the gift of prophecy, arrived from Judea. He came over, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, ‘So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.’” (NLT)
Acts 20:33-35 “I have never coveted anyone’s silver or gold or fine clothes. You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me. And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (NLT)
Acts 18:9, 10 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.” (NLT)
1 Kings 19:11-13 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (NLT)