Why Jesus Sometimes Delays- John 11

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When we hear about a loved one being taken to the emergency room or being in the hospital our first impulse is to rush over. We want to be there for them and show our support.

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Jesus received word that his dear friend Lazarus was sick. Lazarus and his two sisters Mary and Martha were friends of Jesus. They sent word to Jesus:

“Lord, the one you love is sick.”

At this point any of us would have immediately gone to them, but Jesus did not.

So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days

Jesus had told his disciples

“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

Jesus waited two days until he started out to Judea where Lazarus and his sisters were. His disciples were concerned saying:

“a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

Jesus replied with an analogy.

“Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

Jesus was there to show the light of God, to show what God is like. Waiting two days to leave after hearing Lazarus was sick and returning to Judea were part of that. Things were being set up for the greatest miracle of Jesus before his resurrection.

Jesus had a teaching moment with his disciples.

After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

His disciples did not get it.

“Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

Jesus then told them

“Lazarus is dead”

As we will see later in this chapter, if Jesus had left when he first received word, he might have made it there before Lazarus died. Also Jesus could have simply just said the word and Lazarus could have been healed without Jesus coming there. So why did Jesus delay?

“for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

Jesus delayed because he knew he was about to perform his greatest miracle up to that point. The reason in doing so was for his disciples and others to believe.

When we suffer, Jesus might move right away, he might delay, he might let it get worse. Any way that Jesus responds is for others around us not only for ourselves. We do not see the big picture. Jesus does. It is for us to trust him while we suffer.

If God answering seems to be delayed, we need to be careful not to assume God is not with us and does not care. We need to trust God.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

When God Speaks to Us Through His People

Have you ever had one of those conversations that you realized God arranged for you? That happened for me this morning in church.

My Rheumatology appointment is this Wednesday. After having seen various specialists the past five years, I must admit in the back of my mind I have had doubts about my upcoming appointment.

This morning in church I was talking with a few women who asked me what my appointment is for. I briefly shared with them about my experiences trying to get a diagnosis. One of the women is a retired nurse. She shared with me about how her son has gone to the same clinic I will be going to and how great they have been.

As she shared with me, I realized I am going to the right place. When I walked to the worship center, I thanked God for that brief conversation.

If we are open to God’s leading, he will direct our paths even in little things like the conversation I had this morning,

Now I will go home and take a nap. 🙂

How is your Sunday?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Getting Back to the Old Normal?

The shutdown lasted long enough for life as it was during the shutdown to become my new normal. I led my Life Group through a study in John via Zoom, taught in Zoom, got used to staying home most of the time, and watching church online.

We had a plan for Life Group to study through Acts in the bible, but then there was a sudden change of interest to study Revelation. When it occurred, my response was let me think about it. As I thought about it, I shared a group study guide for Revelation suggesting we go back to taking turns. Why?

The past few weeks, God has been showing me it is time to return to my old normal, My old normal was coming to Life Group about 50% of the time because of ministry opportunities such as cultural celebrations, invitations to visit people from other countries in their homes etc.

My weekend groups have started and now it is time to begin visiting people again. This afternoon I will meet a new friend from Brazil at a coffee shop.

I am grateful for the different opportunities during the shutdown, but it is time to return to the ministry God has called me to.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Why I Started Daily Showers As A Boy

A few months ago, I was talking one day with the 5th grade teachers. They mentioned they talk to the children after they return from physical education about the need to take showers every day. They do so because when the children return from physical education, their classroom is full of ‘stinky’ children. A dilemma faced by 5th grade teachers that lower grades teachers do not have to contend with.

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It reminded me of why I started taking daily showers when I was that age. Yes my parents talked to me about it. Yes teachers in school talked about it in class for the whole class. But I did not pay attention to my parents or teachers.

In the summers I was on a swim team each year. The summer after 5th grade I was preparing to go to summer camp. I told my swim team coach I would miss one week because I was going to summer camp. He said, “remember to take a shower every day. Swimmers do.”

In my 11 year old mind, that translated into the coach had just told me a secret to being a good swimmer. From that day on I took showers every day because the coach told me to. Of course as a 14 year old I realized it was not a secret to being a good swimmer but I continued to do so because there were girls to impress.

Fortunately we do not need to worry about cleansing ourselves spiritually to come into the presence of God. Jesus does that for us. He cleans us up. Hebrews 10 teaches us:

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,  by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,  and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

If we trust in Jesus, he cleans us up spiritually.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- Jesus Understands Inner Turmoil

Being in turmoil emotionally can be caused by many life experiences such as the death of a loved one, family problems, loss of a job, living with anxiety just to name a few.

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When I pray, it is comforting to know that Jesus understands. He understands because he lived in this life and experienced the ups and downs of this life. Inner turmoil, emotional turmoil. is something Jesus understands.

The night Jesus was arrested before he was crucified, he knew what was going to happen, He knew the plan. He was in a garden praying. He asked the Father if there could be another way, but said not my will but your will be done. His inner turmoil was such that before he prayed he told his disciples in Matthew 26:

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

His prayer was so intense emotionally that we see in Luke 22:44

And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

When we are distressed and are not sure how to pray or what to pray, we can take comfort in knowing that Jesus understands inner turmoil and take comfort even more in knowing he can help. We read in Hebrews 4:

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need

Jesus understands and wants us to come to him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesdays- Surgery Update

I had outpatient surgery last Friday to remove four lumps, two in my left arm and two in my left chest. The surgery took longer than anticipated, but went well. I appreciated comments from fellow bloggers about prayers for me. Jesus has definitely answered prayers.

I was back in the classroom Monday morning. Fortunately my schedule permits me time at home in the afternoons, so naps were in order Monday and Tuesday with another planned for today. :).

On Monday the surgeon’s nurse left me a voice mail message, At first I thought it was romantic with her saying- Be Mine. But then I realized she was saying benign. 🙂

So onward we go with life. Next medical thing is an appointment with a rheumatologist in June.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Taking Time to Rest

Yesterday I accomplished nothing. I did participate in Blogger Chat, but other than that all I did was rest and watch movies. But I was following doctor’s orders, for once, for post operation care. He told me, “just rest over the weekend and you’ll be okay.”

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There are times our physical bodies need rest. There are also times we need rest spiritually, We need time with God, with Jesus, away from the business of life. Jesus needed that when he was on earth. In Luke chapter 5 sandwiched between accounts of miracles by Jesus is the short verse 16:

 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

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Jesus took time away from the crowds, away from the demands of life, and prayed in places where he could be alone.

If Jesus needed time alone with God the Father, how much more do we need time alone with God?

So today will be another day of physical rest for me and also spiritual rest. I will watch worship service online, take time to be with Jesus, and then relax the rest of the day.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Special Surprise Before Surgery

This was me in the waiting area at an outpatient surgery center. I had minor surgery yesterday. Something made a huge difference for me. After I was taken back to the room to be prepped, I noticed Christian music was playing. They had a local Christian radio station on.

As I laid in the prep area listening to worship songs, it was a blessing to pray for people. It was the calmest I have felt in years in a medical facility. Being able to listen too worship songs before surgery was a special suprise.

This weekend will be blogger chat Saturday morning in Zoom, relaxing at home the rest of the day Saturday, church Sunday morning, and coffee shop Sunday afternoon. It will be a weekend to take it easy.

What are your weekend plans?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Morning Person or Night Owl?

Morning person or night owl? Which are you? I have to admit as a life long night owl, morning people have always amazed me. For me, morning people are like people from an alternative reality. It is beyond my comprehension and experience how anyone can wake up happy about mornings.

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For me, mornings consist of dragging myself out of a wonderful place called bed. The first thing I do is make my way to the kitchen for my first cup of coffee. Then it is sitting down at my computer and listening to worship music as I partake of the magic elixir called coffee. After my second cup, I feel I can attempt to begin my day.

SO you can understand my astonishment when during Blogger Chat yesterday Hannah of Coc-GetFit at hannahmvandi.com shared that she wakes up at 4 am every morning. Furthering my amazement she shared that she does not drink coffee until 10 am. When she said she gets up at 4 am, my first question was WHY. I mean the sun is not even up at 4 am unless you re living in Alaska or Scandinavia in the summer months.

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Piling on to my confusion over morning people, Barb of mylifeinourfathersworld.com chimed in that she wakes up at 3:30 am each morning. Really? How can this be possible? I go to sleep at 12 or 12:30.

I found myself in the extreme minority as each person shared how they love mornings and go to sleep at times like 9 pm. I have taught evening classes for over 20 years that do not finish until 9:30 om.

My creative juices do not start flowing until the afternoon or evening. I often write my blog posts around 10 pm. Alicia of forhispurpose.blog pointed out that she sees my posts are published around 4 am. Easily explained. I schedule them for that time because I have followers in different time zones around the world.

I realize for some that Jesus has called them to spend time in prayer at unfathomable hours. For me, the night watch is much better. 😉

So my dear readers, I wish to know if I am alone in the universe or are there other sane night owls like me. Perhaps there are two dimensions existing symbiotically for morning people and night owls.

Are you a morning person who wakes up at insane hours or are you a night owl?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.