2009-03-02 - Accepting the Lord's Suggestion
"Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died." (John 11:21)
Martha was brokenhearted after the loss of her brother Lazarus. She and her sister Mary had friends to comfort them but it wasn't enough. When Martha heard Jesus was finally on His way, she did not wait for Him to arrive at their home. When she caught up with Jesus, Martha nailed right into Him. She was not afraid to share her emotions, nor was she afraid to show her anger and disappointment. On one hand, Martha proclaimed her belief in Jesus as the ultimate healer, but she was still angry He had not come sooner, according to her timetable. Jesus did not say He was sorry, just that Lazarus would live again. He did little to console Martha, and so she went to tell Mary that Jesus had arrived, for He was asking for her. The mourners noticed Mary leaving in haste, and thinking she was distraught, followed after her. Jesus noticed all the people weeping, and He Himself started. Moved with grief, He asked to see where Lazarus was.
When Jesus gave the go-ahead for Lazarus to be healed, Martha contradicted Him. She was about to get her brother back, and yet she stopped Jesus. Her priorities were askew. She was thinking of the smell of Lazarus' body. He had been in that tomb for four days, and did not want the bad odor to make the mourners, or herself, uncomfortable. Jesus was quick to point out her unbelief, and called for Lazarus to come out of the grave - and he did.
Once Lazarus came out of the tomb, Martha forgot all about the horrible smell and focused on her living and breathing brother! Not only did Jesus heal Lazarus, but that miraculous healing opened the mourners' eyes, and they began to believe in Jesus. Without this display the mourners wouldn't have the opportunity to personally know the Lord. Thankfully, Jesus' healing power wasn't limited by Martha's human thinking.
Lord, When I hurt, You share in that injury. Please move in my present situations to provide the solutions. I know You can make things right again. In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.
The author welcomes comments or questions on this devotional article.