Observe: (1) God has a plan in mind that you don’t see. Why did Jesus wait two extra days after hearing Lazarus was sick before going to visit the family? He waited for two reasons:
(a) That your faith may be strengthened. Jesus said, ‘I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe.’ (John 11:15 NKJV) In life, crises come and go. Your next crisis will be different from your last one, but the thing that must remain strong is your faith.
(b) That God may be glorified. The Pharisees believed your spirit left your corpse on the fourth day. Had Jesus arrived earlier than the fourth day, they may have said Lazarus wasn’t really dead. Hence Jesus said, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God.’ It’s in looking back that you see God’s wisdom and will at work in the situation.
(2) God will make you deal with issues you’ve tried to bury. When Jesus told them to take away the stone, Martha replied, ‘Lord, by this time, there is a stench.’ (John 11:39 NKJV) Are you praying for an answer in one area while God is telling you to take away the stone and deal with an issue you have buried in another area? When your heart is right with God, your prayers will be answered (see 1 John 3:21–22).
(3) God will make you an example of His grace. Picture Lazarus after his return to life. Without speaking a word, his life declared to everyone that Jesus is Lord. And the same can be true of you. God has redeemed and raised you up to be a testimony of His grace.