No Time

Thursday: Third Week of Lent
John 11:1-16

Have you decided to give up something for the Lent season? If so, what?

During Lent people tend to forfeit pleasures or activities to prepare for Easter. Items such as chocolate, coffee, or pop are often on the top of the list. Watching sports, spending time on Facebook are also popular. What about giving up time? How can a person give up time? Time is not something we control, so how can we give it up?

This year I have determined to give up time; more specifically, my expectation of time. My preference would be for God to work within my schedule. However, our reading reminds us that God has His own schedule. After Jesus hears that His good friend Lazarus is ill, Mary and Martha expected Jesus to rush to his side. Whatever Lazarus’ illness, it was serious because it led to death (11:11).

Yet, Jesus stayed in Jerusalem for two days before He went to see Lazarus. Between verses six and seven there is a two-day gap. Complete silence. For the disciples, staying made sense, given the recent threat Jesus had faced (11:8). What about Mary and Martha? By the time Jesus gets to them, four days had passed—an eternity from Mary and Martha’s perspective. If we skip to the end of this story, we know that Jesus raises Lazarus (11:43-44). But why did Jesus wait?

I believe the short answer is to glorify God. We want God to intervene straightaway; we want things to change instantly; we want God to act immediately! No, He doesn’t. Jesus waited so that God might be glorified through His Son (11:4). Waiting on God is hard. Handing over our requests to God means forfeiting time. Waiting on God means trusting in Him.

How might you give up your time for the sake of God’s glory?


Denis Federau is Director of Resources Ministries at BCMB Conference and is a part of King Road MB Church in Abbotsford, BC.

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