Monday, March 17, 2014

Lent 2014: Martha

John 11:17-27
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Jesus gave Martha far more than she asked for or expected. She asked Him to come to Lazarus before he died, a request which was a little too late since Jesus delayed only 2 days but found Lazarus already dead 4 days when He did arrive. She believed in His miraculous ability to heal anyone, including the terminally ill and she trusted His promises of everlasting life. Her faith in Him at this point was strong. But He went far beyond anything she anticipated from Him. She expected comfort, help, possibly a miracle, but she did not expect Him to actually raise her brother from the dead right then and there.
Jesus has more for you than you have asked for or expect to receive from Him. Sometimes our lack of faith stems from our misunderstanding of the blessings we receive from God. We think that because He doesn't answer our prayers in the way we want Him to, that He has responded with a "no". The next time we pray, we don't even expect Him to grant our requests because He "failed to" last time. Yet did Jesus really reject Mary and Martha's request to come heal Lazarus? Martha felt at first like He had. But what He had planned was something far greater for everyone involved. She couldn't see the blessing of His response to her prayer until some days later--sometimes we can't see the blessing of His response to our prayers until months or even years afterward. Yet like Martha we can choose to ask in faith, persevere in faith (despite an apparent lack of response), and recognize with eyes of faith the far greater blessing He gives us than the one we expect to receive.

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