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.”John 11:32 (NRSV)
Most people hate delays. I am sure you would do everything you could to avoid them. During the season of lockdown we have had lots of appointments cancelled- from hospital appointments, booked holidays and school examinations postponed or cancelled. This implies a delay in accomplishing what has been planned or expected. From our perspective, things that slow us down and waste our time seem to have no real purpose but to hassle us and cause headaches. Life can be unfair!
Yet, sometimes God uses delays frequently on our journey. We can learn about ‘divine delay’ in the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, were some of Jesus’ closest friends and disciples. They had seen Jesus heal and do amazing miracles. When Lazarus became ill, Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus, fully believing that He would come and heal their brother without delay. John’s account emphasizes that Jesus loved these people. What Jesus did next, however, made no sense to anyone. “So when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days” (John 11:6). During that delay, Lazarus died. It is clear that Jesus intentionally delayed two days. The big question everyone at that time would have asked was: “Does He (Jesus) care?
As we notice some signs of relaxation in terms of lockdown and social distancing rules, with plans underway for the re-opening of public places; shops, pubs, sports arenas, schools and church e.t.c. Yet we remain with more uncertainties. When, if at all, will things get back to ‘normal’? Like the people in the Lazarus account (John 11), we may feel that God is delaying to fix the Covid-19 problem. WHY? And when things are taking longer or not turning out the way we thought they would, Jesus’ answer to our Why? is Trust me. In the delay, Jesus is after our trust.
For your reflection:
How are you with delays? What do you think about God when He doesn’t keep your expected timetable? Can you trust Him in the wait?
Friends, I have been blessed and enjoyed in sharing with you words of encouragement during the ‘deep’ times of Lockdown. Now I need to give you some space to breathe and reflect. Most importantly to continue in prayer as we trust God for His divine providence.
Pray for me as I am praying for you.
Your Friend & Minister,
Revd. Adam Nyawo