Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, "Lord, he whom you love is ill." But when Jesus heard it he said, "This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it."
I think that the story of the resurrection Lazarus is a teaching in miniature on the sovereignty of God. The story befuddles many of us when we consider that the Lord could have come to Bethany earlier and healed Lazarus - perhaps that is a part of the story's subtle message. In my life I am often confused by God's timing. Like Mary and Martha I have asked the Lord to come and heal but He did not act in the way that I thought he should.
The story is as much about the sisters as it is about their brother. As the plot unfolds it is interesting to watch the reactions of the disciples, the sisters and others as Jesus waits instead of acts. Perhaps this waiting is the real message. How will we react when God does not answer us on our schedule? Will we be offended or will we continue to trust Him and wait for his glory to be revealed? Will we grow in faith or will something else grow inside us?
I surrender my offence Lord. I trust you in my trial even though I do not understand.