My vacation must be officially over; my luggage made it home. It trailed me by two weeks, and I wasn’t sure I’d ever see it again. Considering all the world’s problems, I felt petty praying about something as trivial as my lost underwear, but I prayed anyway. Then I waited because I’ve learned Jesus does things on His schedule, not mine.
A verse in the Bible says, “Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength…”. I believe we need our strength renewed because it takes tenacity to wait on the Lord! Faith sometimes feels like a ruthless decision in the face of adversity. And it’s disappointing when things don’t work out how or when we want.
Last night’s Bible study with my Posse was centered on the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Those three siblings shared a special friendship with Jesus. So, when Lazarus got sick, the sisters naturally sent a message to Jesus asking Him to come quickly and heal Lazarus. In other words, they prayed to Jesus for a quick miracle. Despite their bond, Jesus intentionally lingered a couple more days until Lazarus was dead before going to the sisters. Of course, we all know Jesus raised Lazarus, so all’s well that ends well, right?
Except the sisters weren’t looking for the greater miracle of the resurrection. They just wanted Jesus to quickly do what they knew He could easily do; heal their brother before things got worse. But Jesus allowed things to get much worse before He showed them His true power. By reading John 11, you can tell the sisters were bitterly disappointed with their friend Jesus before He raised their brother. I think their disappointment was hard on Him. Maybe that’s why it says He wept outside Lazarus’ tomb.
Most of the big miracles in my life have come after disappointment. I always want the lesser miracle. I want Jesus to show up fast with a can of Fix a Flat and get me rolling again before things get too uncomfortable. I’m not really interested in His glory, but I’m very attached to my comfort. I don’t like those things about myself, but they are true. Ironically, I am waiting on the Lord to change that part of me. I want that part of me transformed because I’ve come to realize this life and my life is all about Him, not the other way around.
I bet Mary, Martha, and especially Lazarus understood that…after the fact. Probably about the time they realized their names were attached to one of the greatest miracle stories ever told. I bet by then, they were glad things went down the way they did. But that’s the thing; it’s easy to rejoice after seeing the greater miracle. It’s hard to say amid our waiting, “Not my will Lord, but Yours. Not my comfort, but your glory.”
As I wrote that just now, it dawned on me that saying those things to our Heavenly Father is where our strength is found. When we attach more weight to His plan and His fame than we do our own desired outcome and timeline, our strength is more than renewed. We become invincible! Now, Jesus, show us your glory!