Waiting on God

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
One of the basic truths of God’s word is that His timing and our timing seldom match up in our finite minds. We become impatient when we sincerely pray about a matter and often wonder why God is taking so long to answer our plea. Scripture clearly says, “His ways are not our ways,” and I think we can safely add that His timing is certainly not our timing.

Human beings tend to live in the NOW generation and demand instant gratification. People are busy and want everything provided quickly and completely, and without fuss and bother. Technology offers answers and facts are readily available on any subject you can name. Our children are impatient because we, as adults, are impatient and set the pace for hurry, hustle, and immediacy.

There are several references in Scripture where Jesus delayed in answering faithful prayers, but He always used these instances as teaching experiences. John 11 is a good example. Lazarus, and sisters, Mary and Martha, were good friends of Jesus. He visited in their home in Bethany and He loved His friends.

The story has many wonderful truths, but the one I focused on today was that Jesus did not immediately come when he learned Lazarus was ill. Instead, He lingered until Lazarus had died. Lazarus had been in the grave four days. It was clear he was dead.

Martha very outspokingly told Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (Verse 21) Some versions tell us that Martha added, “By now, he smells.” She was not happy about the delay in Jesus’ coming.

Jesus loved his friends much more deeply than we love ours and He planned to use the raising of Lazarus to affirm who he was and is. I love teaching this story. In Verse 39, Jesus asks the folks to take away the tombstone and in Verse 40, He called out, “Lazaus, come forth.” And Larazus walked out of death’s tomb still wearing the grave clothes.

An old preacher friend of mine often asked the question, “Do you know why Jesus clearly called out Lazarus’ name?” He answered his own question, “Because if he hadn’t named him, every dead person in their grave would have come forth.”

May I encourage you today that if you have been praying for something or someone for a long time, don’t give up now. You may be just before the victory. God answers in His time, not ours. Continue to pray for that lost or addicted mate. Don’t give up in despair over that wayward child. God knows the evil and hurt we are facing at the hand of others. Your health can be renewed and happiness can be ours again. Just trust and pray. It is a powerful combination.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at 409 781 8788, or


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