Delays and Faith
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John 11:17–32 ‘“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here…”’ (v21)

In this poignant yet powerful story, Jesus hears of a friend’s illness, but delays going to help. By the time He gets there, Lazarus is dead and buried.

How disappointed Lazarus’ sisters are that Jesus didn’t arrive in time to save their brother!

We can hear the bewilderment in their voices (vv21,32). Jesus had already said that the sickness would not end in his friend’s death (John 11:4).

But all the sisters have is a dead body and someone who doesn’t seem to care enough to help. And yet, the delay was so that a greater miracle could be accomplished.

In response to Martha’s honest, heartfelt words, her belief that even now, when it seems too late, Jesus can make a difference, He makes one of His ‘I am’ statements: ‘I am the resurrection and the life.

The one who believes in me will live, even though they die’ (v25). The miracle happens. He calls Lazarus from the tomb: he’s alive!

God’s delays are sometimes unfathomable. But, like a finished jigsaw puzzle, God sees the whole picture when so often, we don’t.

We see fragments that make no sense at times. We call on God but He doesn’t seem to respond – at least, in the way we had hoped.

We need to trust, as Martha did, even in her grief and confusion. When Jesus declares who He is, He asks her the question He also asks us: ‘Do you believe this?’ to which she replies in faith (vv26–27). Even if we don’t get our miracle, will we still believe?

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A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord, there’s so much I don’t understand. But I know You do, and I trust You. You Yourself are life. Thank You for giving that life to me. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Are there fragments of the puzzle of your life you are struggling to understand? Bring them to Jesus now, and trust Him with them.

Scripture To Consider:
Josh. 6:1–27; Judg. 1:1–25; Mark 9:14–29; Heb. 11:1–40

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Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.