Sickness is no stranger in the homes of the saints. However much we may be the Lord’s favourites we can claim no exemption from bodily affliction: but in our case it bears an aspect full of consolation, it is sent not as a punishment, but as a means of blessing.
This sickness is not unto death death will not be the ultimate end of it
Blessed is that illness of which this can be said: such sickness is better than health.
John 11:5, 6
His love made him slow! This seems strange. We should have hastened on to our friends chamber, but Jesus, who loved better than we do, was in no hurry. Omnipotence is the source of divine patience.
Very rightly they wished to keep him from danger, more rightly still he shrank not from exposing himself when duty called.
John 11:9, 10
He was safe till his hour came, and therefore worked on in defiance of Jewish malice. He had his allotted day, and he meant to work to the end of it despite all opposition.
Anything which helps our faith is a blessing for which to thank God.
Bravely did he say, “Since our Master will expose himself to such peril, let us go with him, if it be only to share his fate.” Better far to die with Christ than to desert him in the hour of trial.
These were formal visits, customary in those times, but they were of very little use to the two bereaved sisters, who above all things longed to see the Lord. Without Jesus our friends are miserable comforters. A little while ago we read of Jesus at a wedding, and in this passage we find him on the road to a funeral: he shares in all that concerns us, and most of all in our griefs. Have we a family trouble? Let us send for the Master. His presence will make all things work for good.
Saviour! I can welcome sickness
If these words be said of me:
Can rejoice midst pain and weakness,
If I am but loved by thee.
Love so precious,
Balm for every wound will be.
Though that love sends days of sadness
In a life so brief as this,
It prepares me days of gladness
And a life of perfect bliss.
Love so precious
Bids me every fear dismiss.