The Back Burner

“When He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.” (John 11:6)

The back burner on a stove is the place for pots and pans which are not ready to bring to the forefront for the cook’s immediate attention. She knows what’s in the pot on the small burner, and it may be simmering for now, but it’s not ready for the table just yet. A few more ingredients, several more stirs from a spoon, a little more heat and time are required before its time has come. Have you ever felt that you were on God’s back burner? You want His direct involvement right now, but it appears that His timing is not yet aligned with yours. That’s a difficult place to be. You find yourself just waiting, not understanding why He is somehow silent to your desires and felt needs.

When back burner times come in your life, don’t try to figure it out. It will probably be a waste of precious energy and lead to only mental and emotional gyrations. Sure, you will spin, but you will go nowhere. In the passage today, I’m sure you recall the story of Lazarus. He was sick and was going to die, but the Lord stayed away days after the funeral. Lazarus’ life was about to make an impact and his death would move the disciples of Jesus to question His timing, knowing what He knew. They weren’t privy to the Lord’s plans or His ultimate purpose in waiting to act. And that’s where we find ourselves at times…conflicted, frustrated and downright confused. Why won’t He act on our behalf now? Why won’t He intervene so I won’t have to go through this painful process of waiting? Why won’t He run to my aid when He alone can fix my problem? Why is He so silent?

Back burner living is a life in whom God can trust. He knows his back burner children will remain faithful to Him regardless of their present situation. Waiting for God to move is no menial thing, but rather it is a deepening process in the life of the disciple. When He appears to be slow, it is only to accomplish His greatest work still in your life. Lazarus’ family would go through deep sorrow before they would experience great joy. They had sent word to Jesus before it was too late and they were privileged and awed to learn that it is never too late for the Lord. Guess what? If you are waiting today for Jesus to make His power known in your life, remember…He is always on time!

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