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Seeds of the Kingdom

A Divine Delay

by Tracy Bankuti

Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.
John 11:5-6, NIV

The unseen purposes of God are quietly hidden all through the Scriptures and, when understood, they bring light and life and hope into the dark corners of our lives. With the help of the Holy Spirit we can uncover and understand the deep yet sometimes puzzling treasure that is within the pages of the Bible, treasure worth pursuing.

You and I know the outcome of the account of Lazarus and his two sisters that is written in John chapter eleven, but they didn’t, and were left questioning Jesus’ whereabouts in the midst of a terrible crisis. Martha and Mary had sent a desperate plea to Jesus saying, ‘Lord, the one you love is sick’ (Verse 3), and yet Jesus intentionally remained where he was for two more days (Verse 6).

“What kind of love is that?” we may ask. But in His delay Jesus was expressing the same fullness of love to Lazarus, Martha and Mary which compelled Him selflessly and sacrificially to the cross, not for His own gain, but for a greater unseen purpose of which you and I are part. The love of God is inexpressible in human terms but oh so powerfully proven at the cross.

In our humanness we can easily come under fear and question God’s character, and ourselves, based on how we judge what God is or isn’t doing in our lives. Is God punishing me or mad at me? Has He forgotten me or am I not good enough? Am I a disappointment, flawed, or unlovable?

Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross God’s unconditional perfect love has been made available to each one who will, by faith, accept Jesus’ offer of forgiveness of sins. Choosing not to receive God’s love through Jesus would be like having the map to buried treasure but deciding not to use it.

Lazarus, Martha and Mary must have had some incredible conversations with Jesus when their crisis was over. They would have come to understand something of the greater purposes of God which were not limited to them and their needs, but about something so much bigger. We read in the written word about the ‘Living Word of God’, who may have taken two days to respond to Martha and Mary’s plea but in the end was the light in a dark tomb, the life to a dead body and the living hope in the midst of deep grief—all for the glory of God. ‘I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name’ (Isaiah 45:3).

Prayer: Father, please forgive me for questioning You when I can’t see the way forward. I want to know the fullness of Your love for me and receive it in the deepest places of my heart, so I can walk in Your truth with integrity for Your glory Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Tracy Bankuti has been part of the team at Ellel Canada East since December 2009 after coming on a healing retreat and taking the training courses with her husband George. God has miraculously restored her marriage of 35 years, her family and health and she now serves on full time team along-side her husband and daughter Allicia. She is passionate about restoration for families, enjoys teaching, ministering, playing her guitar and hiking in the forest.

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