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Never Late

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
January 16, 2023 7:00 pm

Never Late

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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January 16, 2023 7:00 pm

As a visitor to a small West African town, my American pastor made sure to arrive on time for a 10 a.m. Sunday service. Inside the humble sanctuary, however, he found the room empty. So he waited. One hour. Two hours. Finally, about 12:30 p.m., when the local pastor arrived after his long walk there—followed by some choir members and a gathering of friendly town people—the service began “in the fullness of time,” as my pastor said. “The Spirit welcomed us, and God wasn’t late.” My pastor understood the culture was different here for its own good reasons.

Time seems relative, but God’s perfect on-time nature is affirmed throughout the Scriptures. Thus, after Lazarus got sick and died, Jesus arrived four days later, with Lazarus’s sisters asking why. “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). We may think the same, wondering why God doesn’t hurry to fix our problems. Better instead to wait by faith for His answers and power.
As theologian Howard Thurman wrote, “We wait, our Father, until at last something of thy strength becomes our strength, something of thy heart becomes our heart, something of thy forgiveness becomes our forgiveness. We wait, O God, we wait.” Then, as with Lazarus, when the Lord responds, we’re miraculously blessed by what wasn’t, after all, a delay.

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Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread.

Our reading, titled Never Late, was written by Patricia Rabin. As a visitor to a small West African town, my American pastor made sure to arrive on time for a 10 a.m. Sunday service. Inside the humble sanctuary, however, he found the room empty. So he waited. One hour.

Two hours. Finally, about 1230 p.m., when the local pastor arrived after his long walk there, followed by some choir members and a gathering of friendly town people, the service began. In the fullness of time, as my pastor later said, the spirit welcomed us and God wasn't late.

My pastor understood the culture was different here for its own good reasons. Time seems relative, but God's perfect on time nature is affirmed throughout the scriptures. Thus, after Lazarus got sick and died, Jesus arrived four days later with Lazarus's sisters asking why.

Lord, Martha said to Jesus, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. We may think the same, wondering why God doesn't hurry to fix our problems. Better instead to wait by faith for his answers and power. As theologian Howard Thurman wrote, we wait, our Father, until at last something of thy strength becomes our strength, something of thy heart becomes our heart, something of thy forgiveness becomes our forgiveness.

We wait, O God, we wait. Then, as with Lazarus, when God responds, we're miraculously blessed by what wasn't, after all, a delay. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from John chapter 11 verses 17 through 27. On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. Lord, Martha said to Jesus, if you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask. Jesus said to her, your brother will rise again. Martha answered, I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die. And whoever lives by believing in me will never die.

Do you believe this? Yes, Lord, she replied, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who is to come into the world. Let's pray. For you, Father, we do wait. Please grant us your strength and faithful hope in our waiting. In Jesus' name we pray, amen. Thanks for listening today. My name is Joyce Dinkins, and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-16 20:50:38 / 2023-01-16 20:52:19 / 2

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