Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Timing is Everything
The timing of this email I received about God's perfect timing was (of course) timed perfectly. Just thought I'd share.
GOD'S TIMING IS PERFECT By James MacDonald
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Marthaâ€¦ So, when [Jesus] heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was â€¦ Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four daysâ€¦ So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have diedâ€� (John 11:1-21).
What do you do when you hear your child crying in the middle of the night? Do you say, â€œHey! Make a note of your problem and check with me in the morning.â€� Of course the answer is no. If my wife tells me, â€œJames, my heart is really heavy about something. Can we talk?â€� I donâ€™t say, â€œWell, I think Iâ€™m free on Tuesday.â€� If someone from my small group calls after midnight and says, â€œThere is a problem. Can you come over?â€� I donâ€™t say, â€œIâ€™ll have to get back to you on that.â€�
We respond immediately to the people that we love, donâ€™t we?
Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s so confusing about Jesusâ€™ response to Mary and Marthaâ€™s request for Him to come heal their dying brother, Lazarus. Weâ€™ll look at this account from Jesusâ€™ life on the broadcast this week in our series Meeting God Inâ€¦ The setting is John 11, â€œNow Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that Lazarus was ill, He stayed two days longer in the place where He wasâ€� (vv. 5-6).
Iâ€™m totally puzzled by that. Jesusâ€™ actions donâ€™t square up with my understanding of God. Surely if Jesus really loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, He would have rushed to help them. Thatâ€™s what I would do. Yeah, and thatâ€™s what makes me human and Jesus, God.
Itâ€™s important to your faith that you know that God isnâ€™t like us. He doesnâ€™t always act like we want Him to. God often makes us wait because He has a higher good or bigger picture in view.
You canâ€™t draw a line from Godâ€™s heart, to the clock, to your problem. We often see no relative connection between the three, but I can assure you, His timing is always perfect. Mary and Martha learned God never arrives too late. You donâ€™t need to be worried one minute, even if it seems like midnight has come and gone.
What are you waiting on God for today? Relief? Provision? Direction? I bring you this good newsâ€”Godâ€™s timing is always perfect.
Though it seemed to all who were grieving Lazarusâ€™ death that the Lord failed to come through for them, there was no failure. In their wildest imaginations they couldnâ€™t have guessed the purpose for Jesusâ€™ seeming delay. They probably all laughed about it that night around the dinner table. I can imagine Lazarus laughed the loudest.