“Lazarus, come out!”

Today I was reading the book Jesus: a Pilgrimage by James Martin. In this particular section of the book that I was reading, Martin was discussing the passage in John where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44). He pointed out how in the passage Jesus receives a message from Martha and Mary informing him that Lazarus, “the one whom he loves,” is ill. Instead of going immediately to see Lazarus he waits two days.

By the time Jesus actually arrives in Judea where Lazarus is, he finds that he has already been in the tomb for four days. Martha and Mary lament, saying that if Jesus had only been there right away their brother would not be dead. But Jesus astounds them by raising Lazarus and bringing him back to life; his plan all along.

This passage and the way Martin writes about it really speaks to me. How often do we find ourselves saying, “Lord, what are you doing? Where are you? If you had only come sooner this would not have happened.” We so often use the struggles we are going through to doubt our Faith, but we do not know what is to come.

I often find myself being impatient with God, wondering “Where are you? Why is it taking so long? Why aren’t you doing something?” I have to remind myself constantly that God knows best and that His timing is perfect. This passage really demonstrates how perfect God’s timing is even when we don’t recognize it.

Even when we think all hope is lost and it’s too late, God conquers all, even death. We may not be able to see what God is doing; it may seem absurd to us that He is apparently just waiting while we are metaphorically or literally sick and dying, but He knows what He is doing, and everything will make sense in the end. As Jesus said in the passage, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

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