“And therefore will the Lord wait that He may be gracious unto you and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have Mercy upon you—for the Lord is a God of Judgment; blessed are all they that wait for Him.”
Truly, “His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts” (Is. 55:9b).
Too often we impugn God’s Character by implying He doesn’t love us because He doesn’t answer our prayers right when we pray them or give us exactly what we ask for. But, those who truly know Him and are grounded in “Who He is and what He’s promised” (Heb. 11:6) know “Divine Delays” are best and a means by which He shows “He is gracious (Heb. ‘chanan’—‘to bend or stoop down to an inferior, to move to favor by petition, show mercy, have pity on, etc.’) unto us.”
Such was the case when Jesus heard that Lazarus, “the one whom He loved” (Jn. 11:3), was sick.
He didn’t immediately drop everything He was doing and rush to Lazarus’ bedside. No, He waited an additional two days (v.6). Two, long, worried-to-death days for Martha and Mary. Just enough time to make sure Lazarus was stone-cold death and stinking in the grave dead (v.39b). Long enough for their theological box of “Anyone can rise up from the dead in three days, but after that it’s impossible” to be bereft of hope.
Just so the Father could be glorified and they could move to a deeper level of faith (vv.15, 40, 42). And, dear Pilgrim, He still does the same thing to/for us.
Think about it:
If God immediately gave us everything we asked for. . .exactly as we asked for it. . .He’d be little more than some type spiritual gumball dispenser or fast-food drive-in window dispenser. Even more, He would be just like some placating, easily-manipulated and controlled parent who always gives in to a tempter-tantrum-throwing, “I want it my way and I want it now” spoiled brat.
If He were, we wouldn’t love Him more; we’d love Him less. We wouldn’t revere Him more, we’d respect Him less. We wouldn’t see Him “high and lifted up and the Holy God that He is” (Is. 6:1-3). We’d reduce Him to little more than some servant-boy whose only purpose is to come when we call and cater to our needs.
No, He is God and we’re not.
And, praise His Holy Name that He doesn’t give us what we want but only what we need.
Jacob didn’t get the blessing until he’d wrestled with the angel of the Lord all night long (Gen. 32:24-26). The Apostle Paul’s request for his thorn’s removal was repeatedly denied, but he soon learned he’d gained something far better: God’s sufficient Grace and perfect Strengthen in his weakness (II Cor. 12:7-10). Even in His chastening (discipline and tutelage) His actions are “for our profit, that we might be partakers of His Holiness and produce in us the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:10-11). Amen and amen. Thank You, Lord.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated February 25, 2010