“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” John 11.21-22
We can identify with so much in the account of the raising of Lazarus. It is a story full of hope as well as being relevant for those who sense disappointment with God, and both those emotions are revealed in today’s words from Martha. In them she expresses her disappointment that Jesus did not do what she longed for him to do, and yet hope still remained like an open door.
Many people can relate to her sense of disappointment. There are times when we are baffled by the works of God, or the seeming lack of them, and when many of the things for which we pray remain inexplicably unanswered. It would be so easy to shut the door on God, but something keeps drawing us back.
The truth is this tension: God is not at our beck and call, waiting for us to click our
fingers and watch him jump at our every command and desire, and yet he longs for us to bring our needs and concerns to him. In moments when you feel this tension keenly, you would do well to copy Martha and share the cry of her heart: ‘I am disappointed but I still trust in you’.
Take a moment to be honest and tell Jesus how you are feeling right now; but also remember to come back to your faith and declare to him your belief that he has not turned his back on you.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission