Lazarus was dead. His sisters were mourning. Jesus was late.
It was a very sad story, because everyone believed that Jesus had messed up. Jesus was too busy, or that he didn't care enough.
I read this story for the first time through the eyes of the sisters and realized that there was something new and fresh for my life that God needed to work on. I summed up my feelings in my sermon yesterday, 'God comes at his appointed time, not according to our time, and it always appears to us that God is very late. So just because you find yourself in a position of need and just because you've requested that God would intervene does not mean that he necessarily will move at your appointed time. It also does not necessarily mean that his absence is any indication of the absence of his affection. He still loves you. He still cares for you.'
I am encouraged by the conversation Jesus has with Martha in this story. She explains her frustration, 'if you had been here, my brother would not have died.' Pretty bold statement to Jesus, but Jesus loved Martha and explains to her who he is. 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?'
Jesus knows Martha is hurting, he knows the pain she is feeling and knows the situation. And so he reminds her of who he is and then asks a question. Do you believe?
Maybe you're reading this and you're experiencing a time of waiting in your life. Jesus is reminding you about who He is. Jesus has power over life and death as well as power to forgive sins. Whoever believes in Christ has a spiritual life that death cannot conquer or diminish in any way.
For followers of Jesus this should be the most important thing in our lives.
Be honest, don't try to hide anything from your Savior. He cares for you. He will do something amazing on the other side of your trial. Believe that he will.