The Right Time

There is great joy in having the right answer,
    and how sweet is the right word at the right time!

Proverbs 15:23

Mary and Martha weren’t feeling very joyful in John 11. They’d sent word to The Word that their brother was ill. Jesus waited for 2 days before starting the journey to their home and by the time He arrived Lazarus had been dead for 4 days – a long time in the heat of Judea – and the sisters were living in a curious state. On one hand they knew Jesus could do miraculous things but on the other hand, their reality was that Lazarus was dead and rotting.

Martha hedges her bets saying she knows Lazarus will rise ‘one day’ and Mary tells Jesus if He had been there at the ‘right time’ things would have been different. Jesus didn’t take offence at their grief and rebukes; instead, the shortest verse in the Bible describes His reaction: Jesus wept.

Jesus knew He was the right answer, He knew He could have healed Lazarus, could have prevented their pain but the reason He lingered was because He was always guided by the Holy Spirit and the Spirit told Him to wait. When He arrived a great miracle was performed and a man called from death to life.

There are times in our lives when we long for that answer, that right word but it doesn’t come. We can’t see the reason, we often don’t understand why and maybe like Martha and Mary we grumble and complain to God. Maybe like the people who watched Jesus as He wept we say ‘if You love me, God, then why don’t You…?’

The Bible tells us that it’s not wrong to tell God how we feel, to ask Him why things happen and look to Him for help. It is absolutely right that we should be honest with Him. But what we can’t do is despair. Mary was mourning and no doubt Jesus was the last one she wanted to see as He had let her down so badly. But when He called she hurried to see Him and tell Him how she felt. She fell at His feet and when her words came she trusted Him in the midst of her sorrow and pain.

When we have troubles, hurts, illness and fear the place we have to bring them is to the feet of Jesus. We can cry out to Him that we hurt, that we suffer, that we need help. We can even tell Him that we can’t see a way out or that we wish He’d hurry up and answer. He already knows how we feel so He is not surprised by that. But what is most important is that we stay there and trust He will be the answer we need and He will provide the right Word and the right time.

Martha and Mary didn’t expect Lazarus to die when they sent for Jesus. They expected a miracle of healing, instead, they got a resurrection. The Jews were looking for a warrior-king and instead they got a crucified and resurrected One. Sometimes God acts immediately at others He seems to take His time. We can be sure that whatever answer He provides it will be the right one. We can also be sure it will come at the right time.

For His unfailing love is great, and it is intended for us,
    and His faithfulness to His promises knows no end.
Praise the Eternal!

Psalm 117:2

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