Why would He delay? Imagine the inward turmoil Jairus was experiencing. His daughter is dying. He is a ruler of the synagogue (his coworkers had no regard for the Messiah…there was contempt and conspiracy against Him already), and yet he boldly seeks Him out publicly and in open desperation. And then, while they are in transit, Jesus does not follow him in haste through the crowd, but stops to have a discussion with a woman on the street. Didn’t He know this was an emergency? Wasn’t He aware that every second was precious? This sounds vaguely familiar to me:
“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” John 11:21
“Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” John 11:32
What were Martha and Mary saying? You waited too long. If You had come right away, our brother would still be alive. Why didn’t You come? But Jesus deliberately delayed. Why? So that His power over death might be unmistakably, clearly, powerfully manifested. There had been healings. This was different. It was important that Lazarus’ body be prepared for burial and entombed…with no doubt that he was deceased. There were higher purposes than just delivering a beloved brother back into the loving care of his sisters.
Our takeaway? Do not be in haste. God is already in tomorrow, and the day after that. He is Jehovah-Shammah, “the God who is there”. He was already in that room where Jairus’ daughter lay fading. He was present while Mary and Martha lovingly and tearfully wrapped the body of Lazarus in linen and spices. He even wept at the thought of all the pain they were going through. Was it cruel to allow it to be so? No, because He was also mindful of that temporary resting place, thinking of the glorious triumph to come!
We must teach our hearts to rest in this, and not to continually act and react out of a state of panic. Pray for His purposes to be fulfilled instead of frantically scribbling out a “to do” list to toss at His nail scarred feet.
What is it today for you? Surgery? The Great Physician is already there in the operating room. A dreaded confrontation? The Wonderful Counselor is already there, sitting at the table of that person who is at odds with you. A job that is beyond your capabilities? Almighty God is waiting, with the tool box of the Holy Spirit in hand…any tool you need, at your disposal. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, patience. Just ask.