Never Too Late

passing-the-time

Ecclesiastes 3:1 

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

Biblegateway.com

The question we should ask is; Who created time?  The answer is simple; humans.  It is not something that God instituted or cares to recognize.  Yet, aren’t we so focused and overly occupied by the concept?

New Year’s resolutions, biological clocks, deadlines, time of my life, I just don’t have the time, time is flying, maybe next time, and time is escaping, are all man-made ideas that drive us all over the edge to our impeding doom.  

I have worked hard this past fall to embrace the idea that I have all the time in the world and don’t need to fret because Matthew 6: 34 says, 

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

As we begin each day, we need to remember that it is a day that our great Lord and savior has given us as a gift.  I can’t stop it from coming, I can’t manipulate it to slow down, and I can’t redo what was given.  I can only allow Him to show me the path He would like me to take in the moment.  Easier said than done, and surely I have succumbed to stress and pressure of time.  Who hasn’t lost their sanity when it ticks so loud in our ear at times and beckons to be recognized?

Jesus allowed God to dictate His time on earth.  My favorite miracle that He performed permitted time to escape His grasp and send several loved ones and friends questioning His motives.  Lazarus was a close friend of Jesus and someone who unfortunately fell ill.  Jesus had the power and gift of healing, yet didn’t run to his side to be there for Martha and Mary, sister’s of Lazarus.  I can only imagine their pacing, weeping,  and hopeful expectation in knowing that Jesus would soon be by their side, yet knowing how time was passing for their beloved brother.

Where is Jesus?  Why isn’t  He here for us?

John 11

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

 

As I read this account of an ill friend, I hang onto the words from John 11: 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.

Why did He wait two more days, when He could have left and healed a friend?  Did God tell Him to wait?  We will never know the reason, but I can fathom that His wait was to obey God’s will.  

My small ignorant mind can not even begin to understand or decipher God’s timing.  I am sure Jesus was also perplexed, but fully confident in what God was instructing Him to do in fulfilling our gift of salvation.  

Some moments I become overjoyed and excited by the unexpectedness of the day God will bring for my future and current reality.  When I awake each morning, I begin by praying.  I first thank Jesus for awaking my body, then I praise His greatness, and last I ask Him to guide my steps in what He has planned.  

Our existence is not for our own or other’s happiness, our existence is to bring God’s kingdom to earth so that He will reign here and in heaven.  This is beautiful to hear, but hard to live out especially when we just don’t understand.

John 11: 17 – 37

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

As Martha and Mary grieve, they each have a different reaction to Jesus’s delay.  One accepting of what God will do, and the other riddled with overwhelming grief and disappointment in God’s timing.  Jesus understands, comforts, and weeps for the reality of what our human eyes can see and what time will and won’t allow.  Yet, our heavenly father can shatter this concept in a second of greatness. 

John 11: 38-44

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said,“Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here,that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

Jesus never doubted, praised God for His greatness, and accepted the outcome.  When time seems to sneak up and whisper, “It’s too late.”  Remember that God isn’t concerned with time, any second He will step in if you never doubt. We should praise His name, and accept the outcome. Let His will be done.

 Oh, how He loves us and wants us to live for His kingdom and glory here on earth.  Our enemy wants us to believe that we are too young, too old, too busy, and too late for Him to fully love us, and provide us what we need to live within this kingdom.  

Let us pray for a blessed New Year filled with bubbling excitement of the unexpected paths that our loving father has laid out for each new day.  Pray for His loving hand to take ours and guide us in a timeless stroll of joyous peace. 

In Jesus name, Amen.

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