Have you ever questioned God’s timing? How about feeling like maybe God isn’t as concerned about you as you wish he was? Have you ever felt let down by him?
Martha, Mary and Lazarus were friends of Jesus. They knew that he was tuned into God’s will and that he was God’s Messiah. So when Lazarus fell seriously ill his sisters sent for Jesus. Instead of coming right away, Jesus waited days to come. He said,
“This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
I have to wonder if, when they found out that Lazarus had died, if anyone who heard him say that questioned. Could Jesus have been wrong?
When he does finally arrive, Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Mary expresses the same disappointment. We’re told, When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” They must have felt a bit abandoned by him in that moment.
But I have to imagine that their joy, their utter amazement, when he raises their brother from the dead had to trump whatever disappointment they had felt. In THAT moment, they knew that Jesus was perfectly attuned to his Father’s timing.
In Isaiah 55:8-9 God tells us:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Maybe you’ve questioned God’s timing in those situations where you just know what needs to happen for things to work out. Maybe you’ve had things not work out the way you had planned, or hoped, they would.
The thing about God is that we can trust him even when we don’t understand.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion:
- Martha and Mary were Jesus’ friends, and they addressed him pretty directly when he shows up after their brother died. Does it seem that Jesus is mad at them for sharing their disappointment, their not understanding, with him?
- Do you think we can tell God that we are disappointed with him, or do you think that is inappropriate?
- When you are unsure of God’s timing in a situation in your life, what are some ways you can surrender that to him and trust him in the midst of your uncertainty?