In the 11th chapter of the Gospel of John, we read the story of Lazarus. When word came to Jesus that his friend Lazarus was sick, Jesus delayed his departure, deliberately allowing Lazarus to die a natural death. When asked about His delay, Jesus’ response to His disciples was notable:
John 11:4 (KJV)
4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
However; Lazarus died! Jesus knew he would, and knew when it happened, but stated knowingly stated that Lazarus sickness was “not unto death”. The key to deriving His meaning is the process-oriented nature of the word “unto”. “Unto” directs us to a destination. Jesus knew what He would do, and that ultimately Lazarus would not decay, but live again. Death was only a stopping point in the journey, not the destination!
When someone brings a word from the Lord that our circumstances are going to improve, that we will get well, that we will overcome, that we will find our answer; just think about the word “unto”, and remember that it the word may entail a process! It may very well get worse before it gets better! Take hope:
Galatians 6:9 (KJV)
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.