This afternoon as I pulled the white bag out of the kitchen trashcan, tied up the ends and walked outside to dispose of it, I mumbled underneath my breath, “This stinks!” It wasn’t the leftovers from lunch, old broccoli I found in the back of the refrigerator, or the messy coffee grinds from breakfast topped with cat litter that made my trash stink. Nope. I am four days late and the all too familiar negative pregnancy test that rested on top of the cat litter is what made me utter those two words.
With each step I took, a tear would begin to roll down my cheek and as I approached the trash bin and tossed in the overstuffed white trash bag containing the evidence of an empty womb, I quietly whispered, “Jesus where are you?” As I stood there looking across the fence at the neighbor’s yard filled with children toys, I began to think about how I always viewed Jesus as my best friend–my home boy–but maybe we weren’t as tight as I had thought.
In past experiences with best friends here on earth, when they promise, they fulfill; and whenever I cry out for their help, they usually come running. Jesus is better than any man on earth, so what’s the deal? I know He has seen my emergency flares and has heard my long and sometimes wailing cries for help, so I can’t even begin to understand why it is taking Him so long. Or is it?
While still standing next to the smelly trash bin and thinking about how dead and hopeless this cycle had become in just a matter of minutes, I started to think about how we are the giddy up generation living in a microwave society with a mentality of “waiting is bad” and “I want it now!”
We weave in and out of traffic, looking for the faster lane. We frown and tap our foot at the person who takes 11 items into the ten-item express checkout. We drum our fingers while the song downloads or the microwave heats our frozen, already prepared meal. We want six-pack abs in eight minutes and minute rice in thirty seconds. We don’t like to wait. Not on the doctor, the traffic, or pizza.
And certainly not on Jesus.
Unable to stand the stench any longer and realizing I had been outside too long, I wiped away my tears, closed the lid to the trash bin and slowly walked towards the house. As I took the first step onto our porch, I instantly had a vision of Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus. As I took the second step, I slowly began to remember the details of this famous Biblical story.
I remembered Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were also of Jesus’ closest friends. In fact, scriptures say that Jesus loved Martha, her sister and Lazarus. I don’t know about you, but it’s a reasonable assumption that given this affection, they could expect certain favors from Jesus and indeed, they soon found themselves in need of a favor. Lazarus had become ill and once his condition worsened, his sisters did the logical thing and sent an urgent note to their friend Jesus that read, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
When Jesus received the message, he sent one back stating that Lazarus would not die and that God would be glorified through this situation. Given His response, one would assume that He would immediately travel to Judea, a measly two to three miles from where He was currently ministering in order to heal him; but Mary and Martha waited and watched the road for Him, but He didn’t come.
Hours dragged into days with no sign of Him and as time passed by Lazarus was steadily losing ground. He was obviously dying and where was their close friend, the one they had seen perform miracles, and promised so much hope? I can just picture Mary and Martha sitting by their brother’s bedside, asking themselves and others the typical questions we often ask when we don’t see our prayers being answered. Questions such as…
Doesn’t He care?
Did we do something wrong?
Doesn’t He realize time is of the essence?
Did He even get the message?
Do you think we heard Him wrong?
As the story continues, the illness indeed took Lazarus’ life. I can imagine their frustration level with Jesus at this point. Jesus was a close friend and He had all the power to heal, said He would heal, but never came. He didn’t even make it in time for his funeral. Can you imagine this scenario? They probably thought He was out randomly performing miracles for strangers; people who they might have felt didn’t deserve it while they sat forgotten and abandoned. I can only assume this is how they must have felt because shamefully, this is how I often feel when I hear of others becoming pregnant despite the fact that I have been praying and crying out to Jesus for Him to fulfill His promises and He doesn’t come running to my urgent prayers–or at least not yet.
I say “yet” because as I took the third and final step onto my porch last night, I also remembered that Jesus does come to the home of Lazarus and turns a seemingly hopeless situation around as He performs one of His most dramatic miracles while here on earth by bringing a man who had been dead for four days back to life. Jesus was faithful to His word. In hindsight, all of the worrying, crying, fretting, doubting and pacing Mary and Martha must have done over the course of those four long and agonizing days was futile.
When it comes to a delay in my prayers, I am no different from Mary and Martha. I weep. I fret. I doubt. I grumble. I complain. I take my eyes off Him and put them on my circumstances. I often times pace the floor with worry as I am filled with anxiety and hopelessness. I allow myself to feel abandoned and I entertain thoughts of being forgotten by my best friend Jesus, but I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t let my circumstances dictate my beliefs because the truth remains that even though my cycles are often unpredictable, weird and late; God is always faithful, perfect and on time.
So while I am four days late and my situation seems dead with all signs pointing to an empty womb, I won’t fret. I won’t complain. I won’t worry about another possible long cycle and I won’t let it stop me from keeping my head up and continuing to look down the road for Jesus to come running to my rescue. He was faithful to come and rescue Lazarus from a seemingly dead and hopeless situation and I have faith to believe that in due time, whether it is this cycle or even 15 cycles from now, He will also be faithful to rescue me.
“Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.” ~Luke 1:45
“LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” ~Psalm 30:2
Do not let your hearts be trouble. Trust in God; trust also in me.” ~John 14:1
Does your situation seem dead? Hopeless? Do you feel abandoned or forgotten by God? Does it seem as though He is delaying much too long to answer your need? If so, remember the story of Lazarus. Trust that He is faithful to keep His word and that He is never late, but always on time.
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