SOAP Devotion - Jesus' timing
John 11:5-7,14, 21,37
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
This story is out of the book of John, and was about when Jesus heard that his dear friend Lazarus was sick, and instead of going right away, he waited until he was dead to return to him. Everyone is devasted that He didn’t come right away. It is one of my favorite stories from the Bible. There is something in Jesus’ tenderness and intentionality that strikes me every time I read it. The big takeaway for me is that Jesus’ timing is not our timing, and for good reason. Jesus had a plan for Lazarus that involved pain for those who loved him, but would result in conversion of hearts for others, and would deepen the faith of those who were most directly wounded. This rings so true for me right now. Some days I wrestle with the Lord over His timing. I quietly question my understanding of His words to me, I second guess what I hear, because surely the timing He is proposing does not make sense in light of everything I know. My goal is to be Martha, to say to Jesus, “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Martha, faced with the loss of her brother, was hurt by Jesus’ timing, but she trusted Him still with her heart. This is my prayer as well. There has been so much pain for me in the last few months, and so much confusion over timing and what I need to do, but what I know is that Jesus knows more than I do. Jesus sees beyond the pain and into the redemption. What is He redeeming in my life right now, that seem like such bad timing? I need to trust that His timing, while painful, may be exactly what it takes to strengthen my faith, and bring others to him through the testimony.
This week I will pray over the people God is calling me to pray for. I will surrender to His will and ask Him for wisdom. I will allow Him to shape my mind, and my actions. I will work to trust in His timing.
God, thank you for pushing me, strengthening me, challenging me to be more, to let go of more, to reconcile more. Thank you for being patient with my progress. Help me continue in my healing, and trusting in Your sovereignty.