Fall Devotional | 2019 - Day 18

Waiting on God

By Barry Ford

“So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, ‘Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.’ But when Jesus heard this, He said, ‘This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.’”
John 11:3-4

“Where were you?”

“Why didn’t you come when you heard the news?”

“If you’d only been here, this wouldn’t have happened!”

Sound familiar? If you’re honest, you’ve probably asked these questions when disappointed in others. Perhaps, like Mary and Martha in John chapter 11, you’ve even asked these questions of God.

With their brother, Lazarus, lying on his death bed, Mary and Martha sent everyone they knew out to find Jesus. They were confident that if Jesus knew their brother was dying, He would hurry to their side and Lazarus’s life would be spared.

But, Jesus did not arrive. In fact, John 11:6-7 says, “So when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days, and then He said to his disciples, ‘Let us go back to Judea.’”

When given the news that Lazarus was dying, Jesus delayed two more days before heading to Bethany where His close friends lived. Was Jesus being insensitive? Was He not concerned about the needs of His friends? Did He not care? Quite the opposite.

Jesus didn’t immediately rush to His friends’ side because He knew what they really needed. They thought they needed healing. Jesus knew they needed a resurrection!

Like Mary and Martha, perhaps you’ve asked God to meet a need in your life. You prayed. You read the Bible. You listened to all your most comforting praise and worship songs. You did all the things you thought you should do in order for God to hear from you. You were certain that getting your need met would solve your crisis.

Yet, when you need persisting, perhaps you became impatient, desperate, or maybe even angry. You began asking, “God, where are You? Why aren’t You meeting my need? Don’t You hear me?”

Thankfully, God always knows exactly what we need long before we need it. He knows when meeting our need would rob us of time spent with Him. Our need is often the one thing keeping us closer to Him. God knows when meeting our need would rob us of a greater blessing He has in store.

When Mary and Martha asked Jesus to heal Lazarus, He raised him from the dead instead. Jesus wanted them to have a blessing far greater than healing. He wanted them to experience a resurrection!

Friend, God is never late. His timing is always perfect. He meets our needs right when we need them. Never early, but never late. And He meets them in exactly the way that will bring the most glory to Him and the most refining to our faith.

Do you have a need you’re asking God to meet? Are you waiting on Him to arrive? Is your hope growing faint? Don’t despair. Don’t grow weary. Wait on God and trust in His timing. Perhaps your momentary need is His way of preparing you to experience Him in a way you could have never imagined!


John 11:1-46

Questions for Thought

  1. Do you struggle with waiting patiently on God? How can you demonstrate more patience when waiting for God to meet a need?
  2. Are you praying for the needs of others? Whom are you praying for today?

Daily Challenge

Spend time reflecting and writing down the prayers you have seen God answer for you and others. Refer to this list when you begin to doubt God hears and answers and let it restore your hope in a God who answers in His way and His time.

Author Bio

Barry Ford

Young Adults Minister

Barry is passionate about helping couples in all seasons of life have extraordinary marriages, healthy families, and Christ-like homes. Barry and his wife, Ellen, are the proud parents of twins.