17When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days.18Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem,19and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss.20When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house.21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.22But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”
23Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24“Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else arises, at the last day.”
25Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.26Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”
27“Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”28Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.”29So Mary immediately went to him.
If you have ever been at the bed of someone when they passed away, remember well what it felt like for you and for them. Put yourself in that situation and remember the feelings that moment and for the next days as you traveled through the burial process. Now put this story in that context. Martha and Mary were distraught and disappointed and very much heart-broken. They were likely even more confused because they thought Jesus could have saved their brother and they knew Jesus just didn’t come when they asked him. Now he was too late.
In the midst of this, Martha expresses amazing faith. Not only does she believe Jesus could have saved Lazarus had he been there, she also believes he is the Messiah and the Son of God. These are deep and profound revelations. She didn’t let Jesus’ decision to not come immediately when when she asked make her angry or shake her faith.
Can we do that when God chooses to delay the answer to our prayers, or anser them no? We do not know the future or what God’s plan for us is. Perhaps he has not responded to our small requests because he is calling us to greater faith or because he wants to use us for greater glory down the road. Can we quietly and calmly keep the faith like Martha did?
Lord, help me to accept your ways without faltering in faith. Help me to love you and know you even when you don’t seem to be there when I’m grieving. Help me to love you like Martha. *obbs*