This semester so far has held many lessons; I’ve learned the ins and outs of ancient Greek culture and the art of persuasive rhetoric, I’ve written papers on philosophical plays and sat in on in class interviews, it’s been both challenging and fascinating. I’m finding, however, that one of my biggest lessons per this semester so far has been on patience and my instructor-none other than a nonexistent microwave. See, my current on-campus house contains no microwave, which in itself is not truly a problem, except for when it’s entirely a problem. I’ve found myself using the stove or oven for pretty much anything - left over spaghetti, instant soup, day old pizza; and as I type these words I fully realize that I am demonstrating what one would consider “first world problems” at its finest, but my impatience with my impending heated food is beginning to open my eyes to the way I see the world around me and the way I often approach my faith.
I like things fast and easy, microwavable if you will. I know what I want and I don’t want to wait for it, not long anyways. I realize that the main culprit of this predicament is me, but I’d like to also blame society. “Skip this ad in 3 seconds”, microwavable popcorn, etc. these things have a way of feeding and promoting my incessant need for instant gratification, but along the way I’ve found I’ve taken them to the extreme by transferring their qualities into the way I live my life and live out my faith.
In John chapter 11, Jesus is approached by Mary and Martha (sisters to Lazarus). They send word to Jesus that their brother and his dear friend is sick yet Jesus does not visit for a few days and Lazarus dies.
“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?”…
But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”… Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone.
Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” // John 11:17-44
I find it interesting that Jesus did not heal Lazarus right away upon hearing news of his failing health, and even more interesting that he took so much time before making his way to where he stayed. He simply waits and then heals to further reveal His strength, power, and authority. This Biblical story has me thinking about my own life and the ways I’m often so quick to question, “Lord, where were you?” or “Jesus, why aren’t things happening faster?” What I’m finding, however, is that sometimes God allows us to sit within the tension of the unknown in order to strengthen our faith and reveal more of His character and sovereignty to us within each season.
I’m learning that a microwavable mindset (metaphorically speaking) can be a dangerous way to approach this life and our relationship with God, and, in fact, faith in itself sometimes demonstrates the opposite of this mentality-it’s slow and steady and requires trust, which in itself is quite beautiful when we choose to see it!