(Part 1 of 2)
“Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”-John 11:1-7
As you read this passage, it is hard to get past the idea that Jesus deliberately stayed away for two whole days before traveling to Bethany to visit Lazarus. It is even harder to fathom when you consider that it is during this time frame that Lazarus goes from being sick to being dead.
Upon arriving in Bethany, both Martha and Mary approach Jesus with an identical response to His late arrival:
“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”-John 11:21 & 32
Although they are not being accusatory, they are highlighting what they perceive to be a flaw in God’s timing. How many of you would be honest enough to say that you have or may be even now questioning God’s timing in regards to a situation that you are facing? I think most of us have at some point.
Our struggle like Mary and Martha is that we tend to fixate on the best case scenario. We pray and ask for God’s favor and help and then when we proceed (without consulting God) to plan out the perfect outcome. We lay out all the details in our minds, especially the what and when! However, when that time passes, we are forced to reconfigure the details and begin to believe for the next best set of outcomes.
Mary and Martha believed that Jesus would respond immediately, because of His relationship with them and His love for Lazarus (John 11:36), and that He would come and pray for Lazarus and make him well. Instead, Jesus delayed His coming.
He stayed long past when Mary and Maratha hoped Jesus would come and in so doing they stopped believing that Jesus could restore Lazarus. This is because their plans were hinged on God showing up by a certain time.
There are two types of time that we see unfold in the Scriptures. Chronos time, from where we get the word chronological, is time that can be quantified in seconds, minutes, hours, and years. This is the time that we are most familiar with and operate within. However, there is also Karios time. The word Karios means: when it is ripe. There is no hour, second, day or year that can be placed on it, but is comes to pass when it is fully ready:
“And let us no grow weary in while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”-Galatians 6:9
Another great example of this is 1 Peter 5:6-7:
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He will exalt you in due time, casting all you care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
Karios time is proof that God works on His own time schedule:
“But, beloved, do not for this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”-2 Peter 3:8
Mary and Martha fell into the same trap may of us do, we expect God to move within the boundaries of Chronos time; while forgetting that God is waiting for the perfect time to reveal His glory!
Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church