Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Devastating Delays

Yet when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where
he was two more days. John 11:6

This miraculous story begins with the following declaration:
"Jesus lOVED Martha, and her sister and Lazarus." It is as 
if God were teaching us that at the very heart and foundation 
of all His dealings with us, no matter how dark and mysterious 
they may be, we must dare to believe in and affirm His infinite, 
unmerited, and unchanging love. Yet love permits pain to occur.

Mary and Martha never doubted that Jesus would quickly a-
vert every obstacle to keep their brother from death, "yet when 
he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed..."

What a startling word: "YET!" Jesus refrained from going not 
because he did not love them but because He did love them! It 
was His love alone that kept Him from hurrying at once to 
their beloved yet grief-stricken home. Anything less than infin-
ite love would have rushed instantly to the relief of those belo-
ved and troubled hearts, in an effort to end their grief, to have 
the blessing of wiping and stopping the flow of their tears, and 
to cause their sorrow and pain to flee. Only the power of divine 
love could have held back the spontaneity of the Savior's tender-
heartedness untill the angel of pain had finished his work.

Who can estimate the great debt we owe to suffering and pain? 
If not for them, we would have little capacity for many of the 
great virtues of the Christian life. Where would our faith be if 
not for the trials that test it; or patience without anything to en-
dure or experience and without tribulations to develop it. How
would it be possible to shout,"victory" without suffering?

Reader, we are in the season of the Incarnation, God became
flesh. Mary, Martha, and their brother had no clue that the
One they loved would die for their sins. Jesus did tell Martha
that He was the Resurrection and Life, but not what it would
cost Him. Our precious Lord is beyond words...

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