Waiting for Justice: Where Are You, Jesus?

August 2nd, 2012
This article is featured in the Justice in the Church (Aug/Sept/Oct 2012) issue of Circuit Rider

A violent storm of injustice strikes with full force. You resist the urge to lash out, and instead you turn to God in prayer. You pray and pray, but still no answers come. It is just not fair, you need guidance—where are you, Jesus? Sometimes the answer to justice is—waiting. 

Why Me?

God, do you hear me? Where is the justice? Why do I have to wait?

So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” (John 11:6-7 NIV)

We are not the only ones in history to have to wait for God’s justice. Mary and Martha had to wait for Jesus to reveal his plan in their lives too. Their brother, one of Jesus’ best friends, lay there dead for three whole days. You can imagine their crying prayers, “Jesus, please, our brother—where are you?” You might also imagine his calming reply, “Don’t worry. I am here, and I have a plan for you and your brother.” I am sure Mary and Martha asked, “Why me? Where is the justice? Why the wait?” several times while they waited those three long days. No one is alone in their wait for justice. We all wait. We wait because we are disciples of Christ Jesus, and he has a reason for our wait.

Why Am I Waiting?

I want justice and I want it now.

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he rises to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him! (Isaiah 30:18 NIV)

Had Jesus not waited three days, people might not have believed that he really raised Lazarus from the dead. They might have just thought Lazarus was sleeping. But after three whole days, he was most certainly dead, and this was indeed an amazing miracle. Perhaps you too are waiting for God to work a special miracle just for you. I often have a hard time understanding the phrase “in God’s time,” in the midst of turmoil in my life. But I cannot begin to count the number of times I have looked back in life and completely understood why God did not answer my prayers immediately. Despite my begging and pleading, God did have my best interest in mind when he did not leap at my every request. In fact, often God did not answer my prayers at all, and I am thankful.

God has much more in store for us than we can even imagine. God did not respond immediately to Mary and Martha’s pleading either. He waited because he had plans for a miracle that would impact the lives of many. We wait for “God’s time,” because his plan is greater and will have more meaning than we can possibly imagine.

What Do I Do While I Wait?

I am trying to wait patiently, God, but I need to do something.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14 NIV)

When a storm is brewing, we have two choices: pray or get blown away. We get caught up in emotions and try to fight our own battles, and often times we just make matters worse. By taking time to breathe and pray, we not only let God in, we can let him take over. While we wait for justice, we can learn to seek guidance from the Ultimate Counselor. We study Scripture to understand and grow from our trials. We develop Christian friendships with others who have battled similar trials for love and support. And we work to strengthen our personal relationship with God. We wait, knowing that he is always with us and he has an important plan that will make an impact in living our lives as disciples of Christ Jesus. While we wait for justice, we use the time to grow stronger in our faith.

Take the time to plead your case for justice to God. Write down all of the worries, prayers, and concerns that are weighing so heavily on your heart. Put your note in an envelope, seal it up, and give it to God. Put it behind the cross on a shelf, stick it in the back of your Bible, or find another creative way to hand your worries over to God. Now find a quiet place to sit. Clear your mind, and breathe. As you breathe in, say “be still”; as you breathe out, say, “and know.” Enjoy this time with your Heavenly Father, knowing that he is with you!


Heavenly Father, I know you are always there for us and you do hear our prayers. Help us to be still and know that you do have a plan. Waiting for your justice is part of your perfect plan for our lives!

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