The Long Way Around
Whew. I love that God’s word is alive and active as it continues to minister to me. If you have been following this blog for a while you know a few things I love is good worship music and a good sermon. This sermon has spoken to my heart so much. Not only is it a good teaching, but the pastor’s story involves her long journey with infertility. I have listened to it 5 or 6 times now and will continue to listen to it, especially on the hard days.
It’s so hard to understand why some people get what we want. You know, those people who tell me, “we looked at each other and got pregnant”. Why are there so many people who have received their ‘instant’ while we have been waiting 3+ years? Why are some people on their second kid who started trying after us? Why do some of my friends already have 3 kids while I am just asking for one? Lord, why?
The reality is that some people get instants and some people have to go the long way around, which is what this whole sermon is about. The good news is there is always purpose in the ‘long way around’. Sometimes God doesn’t change things because He wants to change the way you see things. He wants to teach you. He wants to refine you. He wants to give you strength. He is working on 10,000 things while you are waiting for your 1 thing.
Luke 7:11-17 is a story of a women who gets her instant. As if she hasn’t already lost enough (her husband), now a widow, she is burying her son. But, Jesus gave them an instant miracle. Her son was instantly healed, sat up, and talked. While there are a long list of miracles in the bible, there are also plenty of ‘long way around’ stories in the bible, like the story of Lazarus in John 11. When Lazarus got sick, Martha and Mary told Jesus and asked Him to help. I love Jesus’ response in John 11:4, “when Jesus got the message, he said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.” Seriously – wow.
This will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s son.
Your long way around and my long way around stories are the same as this story in John 11. God will be glorified. When Jesus said this, Lazarus was dead, but He knew what the end result would be – which was His glory. There is a reason He gives some people instants and some people have to go the long way around. God’s perspective and ours are way different. What is most important, is that we give Him ALL glory when we receive what we are waiting for.
As the story goes on, in John 11:15 Jesus says, “You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.” The Lord is giving you, and me, new grounds for believing. Sometimes He let’s our situations, which look like death, hit rock bottom so that our faith can grow. While they thought Lazarus was dead, the Lord was teaching them faith. One version of this verse says, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe.” Jesus could be glad, because He knew the outcome. While we can’t see the big picture when we are on the long way around, we can trust that we too can be glad because God will carry us through.
After this verse, Mary and Martha encounter many, like Thomas and others who came to see what the fuss was all about. Because of their long way around journey they met people they would have never met otherwise. That is so true for our story. I think of ALL the women I have met – and it’s just one more reason I am thankful for the long way around. There is someone on your long way around that God is including in your miracle.
If John 11:4 and John 11:15 don’t rock your world, then hopefully John 11:26 will, “and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Jesus challenged Mary and Martha to believe. When we are waiting for something is when faith is built up in us. It’s easy to believe God when you get in an instant, but what about when you have to take the long way around? Do you believe? You might say it, but down in your heart – do you believe? Do you believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He can do?
Look at the path you are on and the company traveling with you. Recognize all the good things He is doing in your life. Let Him teach you while you are on the journey. Let your faith grow. Start believing. You might not get an instant, but there is purpose in the ‘long way around’ journeys. Rejoice over it, don’t resent it. God will choose when to deliver you, but it’s up to you to seek Him while waiting. And, just as John 11:40 says, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”