Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. John 11:5-6 [NASB]
Christ did not remain still … in order to work a greater miracle by raising Lazarus from the dead than He would have done by healing, but He stayed—strange as it would appear—for reasons closely connected with the highest well-being of [Martha, Mary, and Lazarus], and because He loved them.…
Christ’s delays are the delays of love. We have all of us, I suppose, had experience of desires for the removal of bitterness or sorrows, or for the fulfilment of expectations and wishes, which we believed, on the best evidence that we could find, to be in accordance with His will, and which we have been able to make prayers out of, in true faith and submission, which prayers have had to be offered over and over again, and no answer has come. It is part of the method of Providence that the lifting away of the burden and the coming of the desires should be a hope deferred. And instead of stumbling at the mystery, or feeling as if it made a great demand upon our faith, would it not be wiser for us to lay hold of that little word [love] of the Apostle’s here, and to see in it a small window that opens out on to a boundless prospect, and a glimpse into the very heart of the divine motives in His dealings with us?
If we could get that conviction in our hearts, how quietly we should go about our work!… Nothing but the purest and simplest love … sways Him in all that He does. Why should it be difficult to believe this? If we were more in the way of looking at life … as a discipline, and were to think less about unpleasantness, and more about the purpose, of what befalls us, we should find far less difficulty in understanding that His delay is born of love. (Alexander MacLaren, Exposition of Holy Scripture)