Not Now

Submitted by Renee Gorby

 

Theme: Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. 5th Sunday in Lent - Yr. A
Object: None
Scripture: When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. (John 11: 4-6 NIV)

Has your mom or dad or your teacher ever say to you, “not now?” I know my mom would tell me that when I interrupted her when she was talking on the phone or conversing with a neighbor. It may have been that you wanted something and if your timing had been either earlier or later, that would have been okay. But your timing was off! Timing is everything. Would it surprise you to learn that this very situation happened many years ago with Jesus? I’ll tell you the story of Lazarus, so you’ll understand.

Jesus loved Lazarus, but when He heard he was sick, He stayed in the place where He was for two more days, instead of going to His sick friend! Don’t you think He should have rushed over there? Well, remember that Jesus has a purpose for every situation. Jesus had good reason for not going right away. He would raise Lazarus from the dead, but He would do it in God’s perfect timing. By waiting, an opportunity for Jesus to demonstrate His power over death and Jesus was able to give another lesson in faith to His disciples. We may not always understand God’s timing, but He is in charge of every situation!

These verses give us a good picture of Jesus' disciples. They were not twelve super-saints who understood everything. They were like you and me. They doubted a lot. They often forgot who Jesus really was and what He desired to do in their lives. Jesus used the death of Lazarus to strengthen His disciples’ faith and remind them that He is the Master of every situation.

We hear later in the bible story of Lazarus of Martha’s unbelief too. Martha tells Jesus that Lazarus has been dead and buried for four days. She warns Jesus that Lazarus’ body would be starting to decay, and it would stink very badly if they opened the tomb. Jesus reminds her to believe and watch what He does. He reminds us of that, too. He reminds us Jesus to believe His Word no matter how discouraging or hopeless the circumstances might appear.

Here’s a good quote to think about:

“To live your best life now, you must learn to trust God’s timing, you may not think He’s working, but you can be sure that right now, behind the scenes, God is arranging all the pieces to come together to work out His plan for your life.” ― Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

If time permits, here is a great song to tie into the message: "In His Time"

Prayer: Dear God, Sometimes I forget that you are in charge. I want to try to do things all by myself. I get impatient waiting for your perfect timing. Please help me to be full of Your Holy Spirit so I can honor You with my thoughts and actions. Amen.