There are several places in the Bible where people are instructed to be still. Some were before, or after a battle, or loss, and others were surrounding great victories. One of my favorite stories in the Bible, and the one that comes to mind for me is the raising of Lazarus.
According to the book of John 11:1-7, “Jesus receives a message that Lazarus is ill, and Mary and Martha are seeking Jesus’ help. Jesus tells his followers, ‘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 said to his disciples, ‘Let us go back to Judea’.”
John 11:11-13 tells us that Jesus knew that Lazarus was going to die, yet he still waited two days before he started his journey to Judea. I can think of times in my own life that I have called on Jesus, and my prayers weren’t immediately answered. I would wonder where He was, just like I am sure Mary, and Martha did. He still loved me, as He did them. There was purpose for the pause as they waited, just the same as there was in mine.
When Jesus told the disciples of Lazarus, they misunderstood, and thought that he meant that Lazarus was asleep. So then he told them that Lazarus was dead, and for their sake he was glad that he wasn’t there so that they might believe. He said, “Let us go to him”.
On his arrival to Judea, Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Can you imagine what Mary and Martha must have felt? They were forced to wait, to pause for four days while waiting for Jesus to come, knowing that he had the power to turn the situation around. I am sure that they were probably wondering why he waited so long to answer them.
I sometimes get so caught up in wanting what I want, when I want it that I don’t realize that in the pause is where faith stands. Waiting for Jesus to come is faith in action, and after the pause is when miracles happen.
Scripture says that once Jesus arrived at the tomb, he said, “Take away the stone.” Of course Martha reminded him that Lazarus had been dead for four days, and that there would be an odor. I imagine Mary, Martha, and the Jews probably wondered what Jesus was doing. I am sure that they felt like Lazarus was too far gone. I recall a time that I felt that I was too far gone. I believed that there was no hope left for me. But then Jesus showed up!!
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” They took away the stone, and Jesus prayed to his Heavenly Father before calling out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, Come Out!” 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”.
We have all felt hopeless at some point in our lives. Maybe you are feeling stuck in a situation, or are fighting a battle that no one knows about. Maybe you have grave clothes on, and are waiting on Jesus. I can speak from experience when I say that my biggest blessings have come from the waiting. While waiting, he wants you to activate your faith, and trust his plan. There is power in the pause. We just have to open our hearts to find it! God loves you so much!