It has been a while since I wrote here but am glad to be back!
Last week was a very challenging week for me, I had some health issues and got admitted to the hospital. I am glad to have been discharged and I am still on some routine treatments, some diagnosis is still going on but I hope to be more stable. This explains why I haven’t written for a while, not just because I was hands-off my writing devices but at some point, my mental wellbeing was affected too and I couldn’t really do anything than stay off, trust God and rest!
While all these were going on, I had thought about miracles. I believe in miracles, I believe in the supernatural and for me, it is a miracle that you are reading yet another writing of mine because at a time I was losing my breath, my pulse was very faintly and each time I lie down, it would seem my heart was shutting down. The doctors noticed this too but all that is history now. I remember when it started, I prayed, praised and even gathered the last strength left in me to dance around my room believing God for a miracle but nothing happened instantly. It was on the hospital bed that certain things began to drop in my mind.
Miracles happen in diverse forms and in diverse ways as no two miracles are the same. It is true one person who had cancer may be miraculously healed at an instant without having to go through chemotherapy but another may also receive healing just after the chemotherapy. It is true that someone might get healed without drugs but another may get healed after taking lots of drugs. They are all miracles regardless of how they happened.
I asked God why He would allow it get so bad that I had to lie on the hospital bed, I prayed after all and believed Him so much for an instant healing and suddenly it seemed He drew my mind back to various miracles in the Bible. No two blind men had the same kind of testimony, one had an instant miracle (Mark 10:52) but Jesus had to use His spit and sand on the eyes of the other and ask him to go wash those eyes before he got his miracles (John 9:6).
There is another case of Jesus healing the servant of the Centurion without having to go his place (Luke 7:1-10) and there are other records of Jesus going to touch someone before getting them healed. Miracles happen at God’s timing and therefore we must learn to trust Him even when He disappoints our own expectations. To be frank, my expectation was disappointed because I wanted an instant miracle but what if God wanted something else out of it? The story of Lazarus tells us so much about God disappointing people’s expectations and yet doing what He wants to do when He wants to do it.
Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha was a friend of Jesus along with his sisters. Mary is the woman who poured perfume on the feet of Jesus and this tells of the deeper connection this family had with Jesus. Jesus would go to their house sometimes to discuss with them and teach them. Lazarus got sick one day and they had the divine healer as their friend! They believed Jesus because they had seen Him do miracles, they had witnessed so many remarkable miracles and they knew Lazarus’s case wouldn’t be any different. As part of their exercise of faith in the power of God resident in Jesus, they sent out words across to Jesus to tell Him the situation of things concerning Lazarus.
This is the same Jesus who would heal the sick without having to the be physically present where the sick was, this is Jesus who would speak a word from anywhere in the world and sickness would disappear! But it seemed this wasn’t going to play out the same way for Lazarus, a man who it was recorded for “the one whom Jesus loved.” When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, instead of speaking healing immediately or rushing to visit Lazarus, the Bible records that Jesus stayed back where He was for two days! Who does that? I mean, your friend is dying and you got the news and instead of rushing to your friend because you’ve got powers to heal him, you stayed back where you were for two good days! Doing what? Well, ask Jesus!
Same Jesus who had spoken to the storm and it obeyed at an instant, touched the blind and his eyes opened, spoke a word and leprosy got clean! This same Jesus received a word, a prayer request, an outcry and instead of an instant answer, He stayed back for two more days! Can you relate to this? Maybe you have prayed a certain prayer or made a certain request and it doesn’t seem forthcoming! This was the case of Lazarus.
Lazarus died of that illness!
Jesus got up to go meet them with His disciples.
These people had given up on a miracle, there was no words from Jesus and no sign of Jesus! They buried Lazarus which showed that they believed it was the end. The very end! Four days after the burial, life had continued, murmuring was still on but they had simply moved on, knowing that Lazarus would never come back to life again! Maybe, they would meet Lazarus in heaven but definitely not on earth again.
Then the miracle began.
Jesus surfaced in the out sketch of the village with His disciples and they would believe He was coming to pay tribute, mourn with them and give them words of hope and encouragement. Funeral activities were still on as many sympathizers were still on the ground. Words came to Martha that Jesus just entered the city and she went out to meet Him. Martha had said to Jesus “I know God gives you anything you ask for and if you were here, Lazarus wouldn’t be in the grave by now.” And Jesus, looking into her eyes with confidence said: “Lazarus will rise again!” That didn’t sound surprising to Martha because several other sympathizers had used the same word which means that they would meet again in heaven and Martha responded like she would respond to others “thank you so much. We will definitely meet him in heaven when we all die.”
After Martha had gone to inform Mary of Jesus arrival, other Jews followed! Mary wasn’t as emotionally stable as Martha was. She came crying, she trusted Jesus so much and she loved and cherished Him! Other people around couldn’t resist those tears, they all started weeping. Mary felled at His feet crying and saying “Lazarus would have lived if you were here!” Jesus was moved by her tears and demanded to know where he was laid.
Long story cut short.
Jesus called the decaying body of Lazarus back to life and he looked new and fresh as though he had never been sick before. Isn’t that a mega miracle? It would have still been a miracle if Lazarus got healed instantly or progressively but God had a different plan. They wanted Jesus to heal Lazarus but what Jesus wanted was to raise Lazarus from the dead. (John 11)
How long have you prayed about it? How long have you waited? Truth is that miracle is still possible but we must learn to be patient for God’s own timing. Jesus allowed Lazarus to die so that he can be raised from the dead! If you can trust God, you can also trust what He wants.
Now, what if you never get that thing you prayed for?
It doesn’t mean God doesn’t love you, He still finds a way to turn it for your good. God saved Daniel from Lion’s den, God saved Joseph from the prison, God saved Shedrack, Meshach and Abednego from the burning furnace but God did not save Stephen when he was being stoned to death! Anyone would be Daniel but also anyone would be Stephen. He still remains God in the midst of it all! We may not understand why God does certain things the way He does them but we can always trust Him. Stephen trusted God unto death and knew that leaving this earth isn’t the end of him. It was in the midst of his persecutors that God raised another man who shook the world! His name is Paul of Tarsus. Isn’t that another miracle? Miracle has no format!
It doesn’t matter what God has decided to do with your case, one thing is sure, God has got your back! This is what went on my mind while I lay on that hospital bed. Several others had died of the same thing I survived even as they got better healthcare while so many also had an instant miracle! One of the doctors said to me while we talked “well, as a doctor, I have seen very bizarre things. There are times we diagnose people of very dangerous infections and they leave for prayers. They come back again and we can’t find a trace of it. I believe in God, I believe that prayers work too!”
Always trust God, don’t relent in prayers and always remember, God may not want to heal you, He may want to raise you! Whatever He wants to do, let Him do it the way He wants even if our flesh may not comprehend it.
~ George O.N