Monday, August 08, 2011

While Jesus Is Waiting.................

While Jesus Is Waiting

August 8, 2011 • Category: Gospel of John

Today’s scripture: John 11:1-16 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Robert Ferguson):

As I studied the reading for today I could not help but be reminded of the old familiar adage: “God’s delays are not necessarily God’s denials.”

I think it is important to read ahead to verse 21. Martha, the sister of the now deceased Lazarus, rushes to Jesus and says, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” I always find this to be the most compelling line of this story. As modern day believers we have the advantage of seeing this story played out in its completion. In our piety we may frown upon what Martha is saying here, but if we are honest, who among us has not been guilty of saying, “Lord, what is taking so long?”

We’ve probably all had difficult situations where we went to God in earnest prayer, asking for some sort of deliverance or quick healing. I encourage you today to read this passage and understand that all of the individuals in this story knew that if there was going to be a victory in the circumstance of Lazarus’s death, it would come only through Jesus.

So the primary issue for us and in this story doesn’t have to be one of faith. We have familiarized ourselves with the promises of God. We believe, or at least can believe, that God is capable of moving in mighty ways — I don’t know about you, but I have evidence of what God will do. The place where the rubber meets the road is that place where we’re stuck in the gap between the fantastic promise of abundant life and the painful reality of life in a fallen world. It’s when we look about in confusion and hope that God will show up to make things right.

But we wonder, “Why is God waiting?” It’s when God’s clear calling on our lives is to do something that is difficult, painful, or seemingly beyond our ability — it’s when God wants us to do something totally beyond our strength or ability to manage that God shows up. Let’s not be surprised that confusion and perplexity are exactly where Jesus puts his followers in today’s text and in today’s world.

It is in this place of confusion and perplexity that we find all we can do is wait on God. Today, Jesus tells us that our waiting is not in vain. Our patience and faith are necessary in order for God’s true glory to be revealed. So, in the face of confusion, when Jesus seems to be waiting to enter into our lives, this passage challenges us to respond in faith by persevering in our discipleship with Christ.

Thought for the day: Lord, teach me to wait on you!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.


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