This week Ugo and I received some disappointing news. We were pretty stumped because it was something we’d hoped and prayed for, and really expected to work out. Our disappointment wasn’t just because it didn't come through; getting it would’ve signalled a much-awaited change in season.
It was tough news to take in, and although we didn’t feel like it, we prayed that night along the lines of, “Lord we thank you even though this is disappointing, and we trust that this is your will and that you are still working.”
I woke up the next day still feeling bummed out, so I slouched through my day “carrying face” for God. Later that evening, I was still mulling over the general situation when I came across a tweet of someone sharing how she was feeling really bad about something but she took it to God and then felt inexplicable peace wash over her and that God was so good, thank you God etc. I rolled my eyes and blurted out:
“Yes, but why does it have to get dire in the first place? Why do things have to get really bad before you move??"
In response, the story of Lazarus flashed across my mind and I was reminded about how Lazarus needed to die so that God would raise him up.
"I get that, but at the time, Jesus was introducing himself to our world. People didn’t know he could raise the dead, so it makes sense that someone needed to die for the miracle to happen. But Lord, in my case, I already believe you can do anything. You know this. You've shown me in numerous ways and I believe. I believe. So why does this particular situation have to get really bad before you move? Why must it die?"
You know and believe, but there are people who don’t. Your life is no longer just about you, my darling. I’m weaving a story for others to read, so they too can know and believe.
I then remembered how I’d been praying a lot recently to be used by God because my life wouldn’t have meaning any other way.
This is what being used looks like sometimes, Dania. It’s not always pretty, but it is always good.
Instantly the fight left me.
“Okay God. Okay. I’m sorry I sulked.”
Don’t be sorry. Jesus wept.
Still later that night, He compelled me to read Lazarus’ story again in the NLT translation and highlighted the message Mary and Martha sent to Jesus:
“Lord, your dear friend is very sick."
Lazarus was really close to Jesus. We often focus on how his sisters felt but think of Lazarus:
You’re close friends with Jesus. You’ve seen him heal others. People whom he doesn’t know and some who don’t know him. Then you, his dear friend, fall ill and he doesn’t even show up. You know where he is – you’ve sent people there to ask him to come – so you know exactly how long it will take him to get to you. You wait and wait, but he doesn’t show up. You feel the life ebbing out of you slowly every second, and yet your friend who can save you refuses to come. Every time you hear the door open, you feebly look up, hopefully – Jesus, is that you? Hope deferred is making your heart sicker and sicker; until you can’t even look up anymore.
He is not coming.
Do you feel betrayed? Unfairly treated? Taken for granted?