My father and I always had “daddy/daughter” dates on Saturdays while my mom cleaned the house. He played basketball every Saturday morning. Sometimes, he let me go to the gym with him and other times, he took me to my grandmothers house. My grandmother Juanita loved to work in the yard, but I was deathly afraid of bugs and being bit by mosquitos. She always greased me down with some “skin so soft” to make sure I wasn’t bitten.
One day, I sitting on the porch and I decided to draw my grandmother a picture. She asked me, “Dee, what are you going to draw for me?”. I responded, “A picture and of daddy and me!” I got all my markers out and became Picasso. When I finished my drawing, I took my “skin so soft” stained paper to my grandmother and I asked her if she liked it, she responded, “Dee, this doesn’t look like what you said”.
Aside from my grandmother being blatantly honest, I understand how confused she must have been. The drawing was actually of the house I lived in. Evidently, she didn’t expect to see a house, she expected to see people.
Have you ever had a moment like that with God? Maybe you received a word of knowledge or you’ve had a dream that created anticipation for the future. Then, when the future became the present, you were disappointed because the future didn’t look like what you imagined.
What do you do when you’ve waited on God, and all you’ve received in return are prophetic words about patience?
What do you do when you KNOW you’ve heard from the Lord about a specific situation, and it just doesn’t happen?
Let’s use Mary and Martha in a quick example (John 11:1-44):
Day 1 – Lazarus gets sick, so Martha sends a message to Jesus, who is literally a day’s travel away. Just after the messenger leaves, Lazarus dies.
Day 2 – This anonymous messenger returns to Mary and Martha without Jesus – just a promise: “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God.”
Huh? Seriously? Lazarus is dead dead and all you can come up with is a promise?
Day 3 – Jesus procrastinates.
End of Day 4 – Finally He appears. Thanks, Jesus. Glad you could make it. Are you preaching the funeral?
Now, this story is such a story of hope, but in the middle of it, I know Mary and Martha were filled with disappointment. In the end, Jesus wept. Lazarus was raised from the dead. Glory. Alleluia.
But we need to talk about the moments when we think God has played us. In the story, Jesus was literally two miles off from the house when Martha went to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house.
Warning, I’m going to some eisegesis to make this next statement: Mary evidently felt some type of way. Meanwhile, Martha was being vocal about her response. Preachers have a tendency to over magnify Martha’s behavior, but I applaud her ability to run towards Jesus in the midst of disappointment, not away from him.
Now, I’m team Mary. Mary didn’t come out of the house when she heard Jesus was close by. She kept her distance. But, when she heard that Jesus called her, she rose quickly and went to him (v. 29). Don’t be surprised if, in the midst of your disappointment, God calls you to do something, be somewhere or say something. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve had to preach, serve, sing, smile, and be present at church and I was one second away from completely breaking down.
Jesus made the sisters a promise when he said, “your brother will rise again”. “Sure, at the Resurrection,” said Martha. In this instance, Martha was using common sense, and Jesus was using this opportunity to confound the wise.
God’s promises are not just things, they are extensions of the heart and character of God. They are gateways through which we partake of the divine nature of God to be infinitely good, kind and just.
I don’t know what you’re waiting on God to do. Truthfully, I have quite a few things that look NOTHING like what God showed me. It’s frustrating. But I know what God promised me. So, don’t take this blog as fluff. I’m not writing to you from a place that I’ve never been.