So, a recurring bible story God has brought to me all throughout the year is the one about Mary, Martha and Lazarus. These three are siblings, incredibly close friends to Jesus. In this particular story, Lazarus is fatally sick and the sisters are essentially looking for Jesus to hurry and come heal Lazarus. They know they need a Healer and they are expectant for Him to come.
But the Healer doesn't come. In fact, upon hearing the news of his good friend, the Healer stays away for another two days. Actually, the Healer never even turns up in this story.
Do you have something in your life that you want healed? A relationship, a dream, a job, hope, yourself? I have something in my life that I have desperately wanted healed all year long. I have faith Jesus is the source and has the power to heal what I want healed.
But God has told me He doesn't want it healed. He wants it dead.
The Healer never shows up in the story of Mary, Martha and Lazarus because God didn't want to send a Healer. He wanted Lazarus dead. So much so, that He waited quietly for a few extra days.
He waited quietly. How maddening is that, right?! When your heart and mind are distressed and obsessed for something, when what you want is time sensitive... He waits. He is quiet. I want Him to emotionally freak out with me and validate my desire for Now and use His power to work immediately! Waiting and being quiet is not my Go To coping mechanism. This was Martha: Come on, Jesus, where are you?! I know you can do this... but You're not. And in this space the questions can come flying... do you not know, (supposedly omniscient God)? do you not care, (supposedly loving Father)? I NEED You and You stay away?!
And interestingly, Jesus had promised them, "This sickness won't end in death." And yet, it did - Lazarus died. He wasn't sleeping. He wasn't almost dead or slightly alive. In fact, according to Jewish custom, a person was dead but still connected to his soul somehow for the first three days. But by day four, the soul would depart and permanently move on. By day four, there is NO.HOPE.FOR.LIFE. Maybe there would have been room for a chance to resuscitate Lazarus within the first three days. But by day four? HE.HAS.DIED. The hope for life is impossible.
God intentionally brought the situation all the way to this place. Healing: Impossible.
What do you do in this tension?
God promised the sickness wouldn't end in death. The Healer didn't heal.
Day one, the sisters were still trusting Jesus' healing power. Day two, they trusted Jesus cared and would surely show up any moment. Day three, they were terrified, panicking, confused, but their focus is still Jesus. They know He is the answer. They are still looking for Him. Hurry, Jesus, and there's still time to revive our brother. Day four? It's done. Lazarus is dead dead, the soul has left and hope is gone and it's over.
What do you do when it seems like what God said He would do and who He said He would be isn't what happens? What do you do on Day Four?