This morning I did a skype interview with Patheos.com, which is using my book Miracles for a book club. The last question in the interview was a familiar one: What do you say to someone whose prayers for a miracle are not answered?
I blathered on for a while about the kingdom of God and miracles as signs pointing to it. I believe all that wholeheartedly, but it’s not a very emotionally satisfying answer.
This afternoon I attended a Scripture meditation, in which my friend Linda Albert led us in meditating on the story of Lazarus. I think I found a better answer.
For Lazarus’ experience is a parable of unanswered prayer. His sisters ask for Jesus to come, but Jesus doesn’t arrive (as they know he could) and Lazarus dies. What do you say to those sisters? Simply the truth: “Jesus is coming.”
He comes, on his own time, to heal Lazarus from death. As he will come to each of us, to offer resurrection forever.
For those whose prayers for a miracle are not answered, we can only say: “Jesus is coming.”