True confessions. Sometimes I just pray:
Lord, don’t You just think I deserve a break or something? I don’t get this. I am doing every single thing I know to do. Is this really what I deserve?…I guess I feel disappointed that You have not answered like I was wanting You to, even though I know You could. Don’t You realize how this looks, don’t You care about Your reputation here?
He is just like:
Oh Jeanie. Let Me handle it. I am at work to set you free. The breaking-off of chains and bondages will always flip you out. There is more than meets the eye. I am not late. I am not silent. I am not ignoring you. Let Me do what needs done. Don’t worry about My reputation.
He knows that is not me, right? Circumstances, and life, and devastation and loss (sometimes so much loss) cause me to pray that prayer, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” A more accurate prayer, I can’t imagine.
If activity and doing the right stuff in the midst of confusion and despair could actually fix everything, I would get the Martha-award (the Bible-Martha, not the Martha-Stewart-empire one…although there have been seasons of my life I feel I could have been a contender for that one, too)
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” John 11.5
I like that He knows that even when I forget to sit in abandonement to Him (like Mary), that even when I am leaning forward and mentally trying to figure things out and do whatever has to be done to make what I think has to happen actually happen (like Martha) – that when circumstances are devastating and my dreams are dead in the grave (see John 11), He loves even me.
Now Jesus loved Martha…
For all the times I have prayed to be more like Mary and hated how Martha-like I usually am, I love that Jesus loved Martha, too, and that when when she was in a houseful of mourners, but heard Jesus was coming, she left the house and ran to the tomb. Mary stayed home, abandoned to her grief. But Martha took off down the road and met Jesus at the place of despair and loss.
And she was honest about her disappointment in the way He had handled things
Lord, if You had been here my brother would not have died…
She knew He was still the answer, even if it was mixed with trepidation, wondering if He would come through just because He could.
But I know even now God will give You whatever You ask.
Jesus assured her, “You brother will rise again.” She begins to resign herself to understanding it by a lofty, spiritual or sciptural notion. The good girl in her not wanting to disrespect Jesus in unbelief…
I know he will rise again at the resurrection in the last day.
Then Jesus speaks those words I still hear in thunderous vividity in my mind from the Carmen song, “Lazarus”:
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Yes. She did. She did believe. That is why in the worst of circumstance, she still ran to meet Him.
I believe that You are Messiah, the Son of God who has come ito the world.
Jesus sent Martha to get Mary and the mourners followed and many there wondered why the One who had opened blinded eyes couldn’t have stopped Lazerus from dying. Maybe this is why Jesus wept. Because no one could understand who He really was and that the miraculous that happened or didn’t couldn’t change that.
He called for the stone to be rolled away. Martha, true to form, true to who she was created to be, worried over the details: but wait – it is over, it is destroyed nothing can come of this now…it is too late…
But Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been dead for four days.
Jesus (probably shaking His head) reminded her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you wiill see the glory of God?”!
Pretty sure we would call her the “negative person” on the team. How come we never say it out loud: I am disappointed in the way God is choosing to handle this situation?… But Jesus loved Martha. There is hope for me yet.
We are not forsaken. We are not forgotten. He will complete the work He has begun in us. Mary or Martha, doesn’t matter. Believe Him…