God is so amazing! He is so wise in everything that He does. We don’t always understand why things happen the way they do, but once everything settles we can…if we are paying attention.
This morning, as I read through John 11, I find one of the most amazing passages of Scripture. It is profoundly a right-now message to us all.
So, in this account, Jesus gets a message from Mary and Martha in Bethany that Lazarus is sick. I am confident that they believed that Jesus would come to his aid and heal him from the illness. But then I read verse 4,
When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.
But then later, verse 14 tells us,
So then he [Jesus] told them [the disciples] plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.
I have to admit that the “glory of God” has been a mystery to me, as I am sure that most of us have been there before. How can anyone describe the glory of God? It reminds me of when Moses asked God to show him his glory.
Exodus 33:18-20 (NIV) tells us,
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But, ” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
It is a question that we sometimes ask God, “Why did you let this happen? I did everything right. I repented. I have been reading your Word. I have been doing everything you have asked me. I have begged you, Lord, for healing in this area, but nothing has happened. Why have you forsaken me?”
Do the words “forsaken me” remind you of something? Isn’t this what Jesus said while He was hanging on the cross? It is.
So why did Jesus make Lazarus wait, especially since he had others praying for him?
Lazarus had to suffer with his illness for the same reason Jesus had to suffer on the cross. Why? So that God’s glory could be revealed. What is God’s glory? Seeing God’s glory is like seeing his true nature. God’s true nature is mercy and compassion.
Lazarus suffered with his illness and died so that the disciples would witness Jesus raising him from the dead. Is was so that they would believe. Jesus died on the cross, not only so that we could receive forgiveness and have a way to God, but also so that we all could believe. Jesus is an extension of God’s mercy and compassion for us.
It is God’s glory that helps us to believe. God’s glory is his mercy and his compassion. It is everything that makes him awesome in wonder. Jesus is the manifested presence of God’s glory. With Jesus, and all of his compassion and forgiveness, we have access to our merciful and compassionate heavenly Father.
You may be Lazarus right now, needing a healing, but keep the faith and keep praying, because God is aware. Our prayer helps us to keep the faith; it is an act of surrender to God’s love. God is so compassionate and merciful that it is his will that he uses suffering for others to believe in him. You may think you are asking for a miracle for yourself, but with God, when you ask for yourself, you are also asking for another who needs him. What an awesome God!
And when you feel weak, remember that Jesus was weak too. He suffered on that cross, and He even died. BUT three days later He arose from the grave.
Go forth and be blessed my friend.
Feature Image by Dirk Wouters from Pixabay https://pixabay.com/photos/dandelion-frame-background-white-3212292/