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HOW LONG?

“Jesus asked the boy’s father, How long has he been like this?
From childhood, the father answered.”  
(Mark 9:21)

There’s something which happens to all of us when we endure an illness or an unpleasant situation for a long
time.  We can become complacent.  I know I can.  The thing is, “endure” it is exactly what happens.  We pray
for a healing and it doesn’t come.  We ask God to relieve us of a financial hardship, but relief doesn’t come.  
We believe for a job, or for a better position if we already have a job, and it doesn’t happen.  So we
compromise and learn to live with it.  

And for some, eons of prayer focuses on God’s providing the right life partner, yet they have been, and still
are, single.  Nothing pans out.  In desperation they move beyond blind dates and plunge into a matchmaker
organization only to find that “find God’s match for you today” had nothing to do with God in the first place.  
And “today” is out of the question.

There is a reason that Jesus kept asking people how long they had been enslaved to their horrible suffering.  
In John 5:5 Scripture records an invalid man who’d been that way for 38 years.  Not a small amount of time.  
John 11:17 points out that Lazarus was dead for 4 days.  The woman with the issue of blood suffered with
her malady for 12 years.  One more: in Luke 13:10 we’re told that a woman was literally bent over for 18
years.  In her case it’s pointed out that the ruler of the synagogue was indignant when he saw her healed.  
How many people today think miracle healing is hogwash?  I’m not sure I really want to know.  Sadly, that
level of unbelief is as widespread within the Christian church as anywhere else.

When Jesus specifically asked the father of a seriously sick boy how long he’d been that way, the father said
he was sick from early childhood.  In other words, as far back as he can remember.  Why did Jesus keep
asking how long?  The message is loud & clear.  He’s pointing out that it doesn’t matter how long, or what the
circumstances - the power of our loving God supersedes all else.  God is greater than time.  God created
time, remember?  A day in Heaven is as a thousand years on Earth.  In some respects, time doesn’t have a
lot of relevance with God.  In the case with the epileptic young boy, Jesus’ words go well beyond
encouragement: “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

That “everything” was referring to the irrelevance of time when it comes to God’s deliverance.  That’s not just
for physical healing - it’s for everything - every part of your life.  In John 11:25 we find the complete
summation, the whole package.  Paraphrased, it says:

“I am the resurrection and the life.  Anyone who believes in Me, even if you are dead inside (have given up
hope) - all that is changed forever if you put your trust in Me.  That said, you know you must believe this in
order for it to become a reality, right?”

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve waited.  What is true is true.  God is your deliverer and will do so at the time
when He determines it is best.  One day we will understand time from God’s perspective, but until then, know
that He has not forsaken you.








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