5th Sunday of Lent
Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalm 130:1-8; Romans 8:8-11;John 11:1-45
Father, I thank you for hearing me. (John 11:41)
You have probably prayed many prayers this Lent, maybe even for those who are sick or departed loved ones—the “Lazaruses” in your life. But does the thought ever creep in: God, are you even listening?
Perhaps we can take a cue from Jesus as he prayed for his friend Lazarus, who had just died. Rather than starting off with his specific request, he said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me” (John 11:41). Jesus offered words of gratitude for the greatest gift of all: God’s friendship and love. He trusted that his Father knew what he needed before he even asked. He knew that his Father would give just the right gifts at just the right time—even if it meant that Lazarus wouldn’t rise until the end of time.
Mary and Martha, women of great faith, expected that Jesus would come as soon as he got word that Lazarus was sick. But he delayed. As time passed, they too must have thought, God, are you listening? By the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus was already dead and decaying. But Jesus’ delay had nothing to do with indifference. He was so moved by the women’s distress that he wept at Lazarus’ tomb. In the end, his delay led to an even greater miracle: not just a healing but an actual rising from death!
Jesus hears every prayer you make, even if he doesn’t answer you right away. He weeps with you in your sorrow. He is with you, even when he is holding back his healing touch. He may not give you what you ask for, but he will give you something good—perhaps an increased compassion for other people’s suffering or a greater healing further down the road. Best of all, he will give you the greatest of all gifts: an ever-deepening relationship with him.
So run to the One who hears all your prayers. Go with confidence and trust. Jesus is with you. He will not abandon you!
“Lord, thank you for hearing me. I treasure the incredible gift that you are to me!”~WAU