When Love Looks Like Delay

I am drawn into this intimate family scene involving Mary, Martha, Lazarus and Jesus. How profoundly they must have known and trusted the love of one another that the women sent word to Jesus of their brothers' dreadful sickness. What must it have been like for these women and the very sick man to wait for days for Jesus to 'care enough' to come and respond to their urgent need? I can feel the angst and helplessness they likely felt - waiting, hoping, trusting that Jesus would come. Did they feel ignored, betrayed, or abandoned as they waited and watched their brother slip away? This passage invites us to get very real with God as we identify and name our own places where God does not seem to respond to our urgent need. Be gentle with yourself as you bring those times into your prayer with God. Notice how God's compassionate love meets you. If it is overwhelming to be in this place of need, gently return to a safe and loving place you have experienced God's presence before. Allow that memory to strengthen you into the permanence and steadfastness of God's love.

John 11:1-10 (NLT)
A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. 2 This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. 3 So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.”
4 But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” 5 So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, 6 he stayed where he was for the next two days. 7 Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”
8 But his disciples objected. “Rabbi,” they said, “only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?”
9 Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. 10 But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.”

For Reflection and Prayer:
What did you hear as you listened or read the text? Did something particular catch your attention? Bring it into meditative conversation with Jesus.

Give yourself room for the word to affect you. What are you feeling or sensing? Gently bring this awareness into your prayer with Jesus.

Rest in quiet trust in Jesus’ loving presence. Savor any consoling words or pictures given to you.

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