Jesus Stayed

What is your reaction when God says no? What is your reaction when God says wait? For many, myself included, its not taken very well. We seem to think we know what is best for us. We seem to think that we are more important than God, and our demands need to be met in order for us to feel that God loves us. This just simply isn’t true. I have pointed out in previous writings just how far God is willing to go to show his love for us. I have pointed out that we can be modern day Israelites, when he doesn’t answer our prayers in the manner, we think they should be answered. There is nothing worse than waiting. We are a stubborn, impatient group of people. Our modern-day world gives us everything we want at the touch of a button. To be made to wait is terrifying and aggravating to most of us, of whom I am the chief example. I hate waiting. I believe the hardest command in the Bible is “Be still and know that I am God.” Being still and waiting on God, is the single hardest thing I have ever been asked to do. Doesn’t God know I would love him and praise him more, if he just gave me my heart’s desire? Wouldn’t he get a lot more glory if he moved now, and didn’t make me wait? Just wait and see where I go with this. See what I did there?

Anymore, I just sit at my house, day after day. I pray, I read, I write, and I wait. It has been just short of 80 days since my first neurological event, and 75 days from my first seizure. I have since been to the neurologist 3 times. I have had MRIs, EEGs, and CAT scans. I have been on medication to attempt to keep the daily tremors, and shaking at bay. These meds have been changed 3 times now.  If I push myself too hard, I do ultimately end up having a full-blown seizure. I have had two in the last few weeks. I have learned to live with the tremors, the shaking, the seizures, and the aftermath. The aftermath of a seizure is worse than the events leading up to it. It takes on average 24 hours to come out of the effects after the seizure. The effects include, being hot and cold, my body doesn’t regulate temperature correctly, tremors, while less intense are still there, headaches, extreme fatigue, muscle aches, and brain fog. I am not writing this for you to pity me. I am not writing this to get attention. I am writing all this so you know where my heart is at and where I am coming from. God has chosen not to miraculously heal me. Instead of a healing, lately it feels more like learning to live with a disability.  I have thrown my pity party. I have found myself angry at the situation because God didn’t answer the way I wanted. Just go back and find my writing “Modern Day Israelite,” its all in there.  God has me waiting. He has me in a holding pattern, waiting for a runway to clear. There is nothing I can do, but praise him in the storm, and wait on him to move, understanding that it is all for His glory alone.

Paul told the Hebrews in Rome, and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose, (Romans 8:28 ESV). Paul goes on to tell us it is for the purpose of making us more like Jesus that we go through some stuff. Paul tells the church of Corinth, for this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, (2 Corinthians 4:17 ESV). It is so hard to understand that the circumstances we find to be a burden, are working for a far greater weight of glory than we can comprehend. God says of himself; I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I will give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols (Isaiah 42:8 ESV). Everything we are going through is for his glory alone. Whether he answers our prayers with miracles, signs, and wonders, or if he chooses to not answer, or even worse, he makes us wait, it is all for his glory. If making us wait, or saying no brings him more glory, he will wait.

One thing we must understand is that this story God is writing, is for his glory. He chose to let us have a small part in his story. If God was writing a movie and it was the standard 120 minutes long, your part in his movie would be her and gone in the blink of an eye. If the movie started, from the time he created the earth, to the time that he comes back, it would cover 6,000 plus years in 120 minutes. Your lifetime would not be but a few milliseconds long, if you were lucky to get that much time in his story. So, who are we to demand that God do for us? Who are we to demand he answer our prayers in a manner acceptable to us? If he chooses to make us wait, it is for a far better weight of glory. This movie is about him. Not us. It is about his glory, and his glory alone. Sometimes it is uncomfortable, sometimes it is hard to bear. But if we remember this light affliction will bring God a far better weight of glory, I feel it is easier to deal with. Some people believe bad things happen, because we have done something wrong. While God does discipline his children whom he loves, he also chooses to use situations for his glory. We read in the Gospel of John, as he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:1-3 ESV). This man did not sin. He was not in the wrong. It wasn’t for correction. It was for the glory of God through the Son, Jesus, that this man was born blind. God does all things to bring himself glory. That includes making us wait.

Read this story carefully. 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. Its is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. (John 11:1-6 ESV). You probably know what happened from here. Jesus left and went to Bethany. He found that Lazarus was dead and in the tomb for 4 days. Mary and Martha come up to him individually and both tell him, if only he had been here, the one he loved would not be dead. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, just as he said, “for the glory of God.” It is a wonderful story. But did you catch what John said in verses five and six? It says, now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, So, Jesus stayed. Wait, wait, wait, that does not make any sense. Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus, so, he got up and left right away, and healed Lazarus. That’s what we think it should say. We expect God to move on our behalf if he loves us like he says. But Jesus loved them, and yet he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Why? It was for his glory. To go and heal Lazarus, would have been a miracle in itself, but people would talk and praise God a whole lot more, if Lazarus was dead and raised to life. Sometimes the greater miracle, the greater glory comes after we have waited.

You may be like me, stuck in a holding pattern. I know life would be so much easier if I could just receive a miraculous healing. To no longer have tremors, shakes, and seizures would be amazing. But I know this is not the end of my journey. I know one day my God will come. I know he will move and he will heal me. Maybe there are parts of me that need to be put to death before he can come. Who knows? I do know one thing for certain, my God loves me, and it is because of his great love for me, he is staying where he is. He is not coming to heal me just yet. If waiting brings him far more glory than being healed now, I will praise him as I wait. So, if you are in a situation like mine, take heart. He hasn’t forgotten about you. He will never leave you or forsake you. You are just in a “so, Jesus stayed” moment. Your response is important. Are you going to be like Job’s wife and say “just curse God and die?” Or are you going to praise him in this valley? The popular old song, the God of the mountain is the God of the valley. He doesn’t change. Its us and our attitude that changes.

To quote a popular worship song, “Yes, I will lift you high in the lowest valley. Yes, I will bless your name. Yes, I will sing for joy when my heart is heavy. All my days. Yes, I will. (Yes I will, Vertical Worship, 2018)

Sometimes God waits, and he commands us to be still and know he is God. Its just a holding pattern. Just wait and see. This light and momentary affliction is bringing a far better weight of glory than you can possibly imagine. Hold on. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Just be patient and wait. It will all be worth it in the end. I promise. The wait is the hard part, but the end is so worth it. God gets the glory and you get the blessing. Just patiently wait and know that he is God. Even in this light and momentary affliction let’s do this, rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)

This teaching is a reminder to me. I hope it helps you as well. We are all in this together. God bless.

James Delisle

Published by Hillside Christian Church

We Proclaim: Faith Alone in Jesus Christ is all you need for Salvation! Baptism is an act of obedience following a confession of faith. An outward sign of an inward reality. Sunday Morning at Hillside Adult and Children’s Sunday School — 9:00 a.m Home of the Great Commission: Matthew 28:19-20 Children's Church 10:15 a.m. Worship and Preaching of God’s Word— 10:15 a.m. Praise Band Lead Worship: Easy Listening Contemporary Style and Traditional Music Arrangement

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