Monday, November 15, 2010

Mary, Martha, and Lazarus – developing a picture

The past couple of weeks we have been going over Luke 10:38-42. We reviewed Martha’s stressors and how we all have “been there and done that.” Sometimes I still go there, but as I looked at that passage, I really wanted to learn more about Mary, so I started digging.

Before we get start, please start with a time of prayer. Ask God to make your heart tender to what He wants you to receive. Ask Him to make it tender to the things in your life that He may not want in your life. Ask Him to make your heart tender for the things His heart is tender for.

The next couple of weeks we are going to be reading over John 11:1-44. Take time to read it. Read it all the way through and then go back and meditate on different verses throughout this week.

The chapter starts by introducing the characters of Lazarus, Mary and Martha, and in verse 2 it reads, “This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.” (Did you know that? I didn’t know that! We will be visiting this a lot more later, so stay tuned.)

Mary and Martha sent for Jesus saying, “The one you love is sick.” When Jesus heard the news, He knew what was going to happen. He knew what the end results would be just like He knows what is going to happen to you later today and tomorrow. Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Whatever struggle or difficulty you are going through, will God’s Son be glorified in it? Will your actions point others to Christ?

I love the next part. Verse 5, “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” Jesus knew that his friends were about to go through a difficult time, that He would be glorified in it, and His thoughts for Martha, Mary and Lazarus were of love. He loved them. He loved them before the storm in their life got really bad. He loved them when life got more than they could handle, and He loved them when their hearts were broken and grieving.

Do you need His loving? Does it feel like you are struggling and nothing is going well? That is where Mary and Martha were. They sent for Jesus. They looked to Jesus because they had faith in Him to fix it.

But Jesus didn’t get up and jump to, did He? He stayed TWO MORE DAYS!!!! (What is up with that? Two more days? What is the point?) There was a quote in one of Beth Moore’s Bible studies that said, “God misses a few good opportunities to be early, but He is ALWAYS on time.” Isaiah 55 tells us His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts because He is higher than our ways and thoughts. He sees the big picture whereas we see through part of a mirror darkly. A song says it like this, “Sometimes He calms the storm with a whisper peace be still. He can settle any sea, but it doesn’t mean He will. Sometimes He holds us close and let’s the winds and waves go wild. Sometimes He calms the storm and other times He calms His child.” There are times when it doesn’t seem like we can find Him during those horrible or difficult times, but He is there. And one more quote, “When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.” God isn’t in the business of hurting His children. He’s in the healing business, the disciplining business, the restoration business, and the redeeming business.

If you are going through one of these rough spots, I encourage you to journal. Sometimes when we are in those dark valleys we can’t always see God’s hand moving, but when we go back and look we can catch a glimpse of His hand working in our lives by the people He leads to us, the way He leads us to pray, and by the circumstances we can’t understand.

“When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.”

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