“Prayers go up Blessings come down.”
I saw that on a church sign the other week and I kind of cringed. Not because it isn’t true, but because it is misleading. Instead, they should have put “Prayers go up Answers come down.”
Not always what we want. Not always when we want. Sometimes, it seems like nothing comes down at all. Like God left and didn’t even leave a recording telling us to leave a message so He can get back to us later.
John 11:1-6 “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.” Now Jesus loved Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.”
Did you catch that? I never did until a Bible study I recently finished pointed it out. When Jesus heard that Lazarus (whom he loved) was ill, He didn’t get up and rush out to go heal him and comfort his sisters. Instead, he stayed where He was at for two more days.
After Jesus arrives, Mary falls at His feet and says “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” The Jews questioned Him, if he could heal the blind shouldn’t he be able to heal the dying? (Verses 32-37)
But Jesus had greater plans than to just heal a dying Lazarus. He wanted to bring to life a dead Lazarus! A dead Lazarus who had been buried for 4 days (verse 39). Jesus’ timing is perfect. There is always a reason. It may not seem like a good reason to us, but it is a reason that works out for our own good. No, Jesus didn’t heal Lazarus. But he did raise him from the dead.
Whenever Lazarus had died, and Jesus had still not shown up to heal him, I am sure Mary was heartbroken. Her hope was in Jesus, and He had seemingly, at the time, let her down. There are a lot of times I feel like Mary felt whenever her brother died, and Jesus never showed.
There are times when I will pray, about things that I know I can’t “pray away”. Or times I will pray about things and they just don’t go away.
When I can’t pray away the death in my family
When I can’t pray away the mistakes I have made in the past
When you can’t pray away the rejection from you job, friends, family…
When you can’t pray away the person you used to be
When you can’t pray away the test results from the doctor
There is one thing I know to do when I can’t pray it away… Pray anyways.
Even though God didn’t take away my difficult circumstances, I still pray. Even though I miscarried and I can’t pray away that it ever happened, I can still pray.
And praying has become my number one comfort. Because He is my only hope.
Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, I will hope in Him.”