by Amy Freeman-Nichols
“When Jesus arrived, He found that Lazarus had already spent four days in the tomb.”
We are all familiar with the story of Lazarus and yet, somehow, we are always amazed when God doesn’t show up on our timetable. When has God ever arrived on your timetable? When has he ever worked anything out in precisely the way you had it figured out? I’m pretty sure the answer is never. Yet, in the end, you will testify that he showed up right on time and made a way for you.
Here is a new concept for you to consider: we live in one time zone and God works in another. I work with a group of women in different time zones and countries. We have to be specific about what day and time we are meeting and in which time zone the meeting is taking place. We meet every Monday at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. That is 7:00 p.m. Central, 9:00 p.m. Pacific, 10:00 a.m. Tuesday in Australia and 1:00 a.m. Tuesday in Israel. God has an appointed day and time for everyone for our needs to be met – in His time zone.
Mary and Martha, and probably even Lazarus, were looking for Jesus to arrive earlier. They expected him while Lazarus still had breath in his body. They expected him when they could still see how it might be possible to heal Lazarus. After all, they had seen people healed, and they had heard miraculous testimonies. This time was different though.
Jesus didn’t rush to them. Jesus wasn’t there when they wrapped Lazarus in his death clothes or laid him in the tomb. There wasn’t a single word from him. Have you ever been waiting for an answer and all of heaven seems to be quiet? Not a word, not a sign, not a single feeling that your prayers are even reaching heaven. Yet, we hold on to the hope that God is working on our behalf.
Mary and Martha had lost all hope. They knew the next time they saw Lazarus it would be in heaven. Then the word started to infiltrate the crowd. Jesus was coming into town. His timetable kicked in and with a single phrase, “Lazarus, come forth!” The answer they had been looking for – the one they didn’t dare to believe for anymore – had arrived. Lazarus was alive; he was healed and whole.
When God shows up, when your miracle’s time and date arrives, it is a complete miracle. There is no stench of death on it. There aren’t any semi, half done, “you figure it out the rest of the way” portions. God has every detail worked out for your good.
So, while things may look bleak to you at the moment. Your faith might be waning, but HOLD ON! Even if it looks like nothing is happening in your time zone, it doesn’t mean nothing is happening in God’s.
Amy Freeman-Nichols is the author of Think On This devotional/bible study series. She is the founder of I Am The Preacher’s Wife and half of the dynamic duo of Appointed2, a Christian Country evangelistic ministry.