Have you ever read the account of Lazarus? I've heard it as a child in Sunday school and I've heard teachings on it. I've even skimmed through it as I read through the book of John but I've never intentionally sat down to read it until this morning.
Last Sunday I prayed with a woman who has a friend that is living in darkness, so to speak. As we prayed with her I thought of Lazarus. I could hear Christ's voice as He called out to him. I prayed that this woman's friend would also hear God's voice and come into the light.
This morning I was thinking and praying for all the people I know who are living in darkness and I prayed the same for them. Before I even read the account the Lord started to minister to my heart about some similarities between certain characters and myself. I started to think about how the whole reason behind Jesus allowing Lazarus to die was to bring glory to God and to give us a picture of what it means to move from darkness to light. Jesus even says in John 11:25-26 "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die." He wasn't talking about our physical bodies, (although I do believe miracles can happen in the way of the dead being brought back to life), He was talking about our spirits being brought back to life when we believe in Him. I also started to think about how you didn't see Mary or Martha trying to drag out the dead body of their brother and bring him back to life themselves. Just like we can't drag someone to the feet of Jesus and change their hearts ourselves. It was the voice of God that raised Lazarus.
After reading the account though in John 11, light started to shine in my own heart. I realized that Martha is the one that went out to Jesus. Bless the Martha's out there who have felt guilty all their lives for not being more like Mary. She wasn't disappointed in His timing. She ran out to meet Him. She knew that even as her brother lay dead that anything Jesus asked of God, God would do.
Then there was Mary, who as you may know if you've been reading this blog for a while, I have a tendency to be like.
She did not run out to meet Jesus.
I thought about that for a while. I thought about despite my love for Father and my faith in His ability I still doubt His timing and His goodness sometimes. Mary heard that Jesus was coming and she remained inside, heavy with disappointment. She didn't have a big enough vision for what He was capable of. With great sadness, almost accusing Jesus she reminds Him that if He would have come her brother would be alive. Can't you almost hear her tone through her sobbing?
"Where were You?! You could have saved Him!"
And do you know how beautiful our Savior is? He saw the sadness and the disappointment in Mary's heart. He heard her accusing tone but He did not reprimand her. He did not call her out for her lack of faith. But it affected Him deeply, so deeply that He wept. I don't honestly think He was deeply moved because Lazarus died but because the people that had loved Him so and that He had deeply loved doubted His goodness. The viewed His actions and believed He was capable of hurting them or that He was selfish or inconsiderate or unloving. That deeply moved Him.
Sometimes things happen that we don't want to happen and sometimes things don't happen that we think need to happen. I never really have a hard time seeing God as bigger then those things but I've often doubted His timing and His goodness. Like Mary I've felt disappointed when I didn't think He came through for me. But now I see that this moves Him to tears. It hurts Him in a way lack of faith never could.
Today I will be like Mary after Jesus called to her. When He calls to me I will get up quickly and I will go to Him. I will even be like Mary and pour my heart out to Him but today I will also choose to be like Martha and I will trust in His goodness and His unfailing love for me. And as for my loved ones living in darkness? I will trust in God's timing and the power of His voice to raise them from the dead and bring them out into the light. I will believe like Martha that He is the Christ, the Son of God.