Do you know what my favorite part of pregnancy was? Delivery. Crazy right!? Don’t get me wrong, with every child I went into labor and delivery completely terrified of the pain I was about to endure, but I loved knowing that the endless potty breaks, the uncomfortable sleeping situation, the swollen feet, and the lack of oxygen would all soon be over.
While pregnancy wasn’t one of my most loved seasons, I understood that my wait, however miserable I may have been, was a win for my precious babies. If I had rushed them into this world, it could’ve hurt them. So despite how eager I was to get to delivery, I had to let the process happen.
This week the Lord took me to the book of John; to the story of Lazarus. In case you’re new to the story, I will give you a rundown of the events. There is one verse I am eager to get to, though, so stick with me.
Lazarus was a dear friend to Jesus, he and his sisters, Mary and Martha. The story begins in John chapter eleven and tells us that the sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick, and Jesus assured the ladies that Lazarus’ sickness would not end in death.
“When Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness will not end in death but is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus.
But wait, catch this next verse.
“So when he heard that he was sick, he stayed two more days in the place where he was.” John 11:4-6 CSB
Jesus loved them so much, he waited? He stayed away instead of running toward?
Let’s keep going…
Eventually, Jesus ends up making His way toward Lazarus. Along the way He tells the disciples that Lazarus has died and says to them, “I’m glad for you that I wasn’t there so that you may believe.” Say what? Didn’t He just say the sickness wouldn’t end in death? To make matters worse, when they finally arrive at the place where they buried Lazarus, scripture says “He found Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.” Scripture points out after that long in the tomb, Lazarus’ body was sure to stink.
I don’t know about you, but I imagine I would respond to the Lord’s timing like the sisters of Lazarus did.
“Then Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.’” John 11:21 CSB
“As soon as Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and told him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died!’” John 11:32 CSB
Feels and sounds all too familiar to my life and perhaps yours. I know we’ve talked a lot about waiting, but it’s my season and if it isn’t yours, it will be. It’s inevitable we will wait. Waiting for a miracle, waiting for an opportunity, waiting for the right relationship or for healing in ours. Waiting is a part of this life. But what if our waiting isn’t really ALL about us? What if our wait is someone else’s win? Like with my babies. Because I allowed the process of pregnancy to happen, my babies won. My wait gave them the health they needed to endure a world outside of the womb.
“So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you heard me. I know that you always hear me, but because of the crowd standing here I said this, so that they may believe you sent me.’ After he said this, he shouted with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unwrap him and let him go.’” John 11:41-44 CSB
Lazarus’ wait was the disciples’ win, was Martha’s and Mary’s win. What if your wait isn’t all about you? What if God is using your situation to bring glory to Him and to save others? What if your wait is their win? Often in our waiting we turn everything around to be about us. We argue and fuss at God over His timing and His way, but I believe it’s time for us to take the focus off ourselves. God’s ways are higher than our ways, and our wait could be their win and for the glory of God.
Cassie Downs, formerly of the Ellsinore area, is a speaker and the author of Chasing Jesus. Connect with her online at cassiedowns.com. Her book is available online where most books are sold.