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Stay

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Psalm 62:8
Stay Book Cover

Enneagram, StrengthsFinder, Myers-Briggs, DISC, or any other personality or motivational assessment will tell you we’re are all so very different. Not only are we different within, we have experiences that have shaped us, skills we have developed, and years of life that have taught us. Some of us are question askers, others of us are storytellers. Some of us dig for detail while others want the big picture of where we are going. Our uniqueness does not stop with our relationship with God. We bring it with us to Jesus as well.

Mary and Martha were different sisters—same family, very different women. And Jesus welcomed their uniqueness as they processed the death of their brother, their disappointment with Jesus, and what was to come.

They exclaimed the same truth to Jesus (John 11:21, 32) yet followed it with different actions. Martha shared words, questions, and dialogue. Mary brought her tears and fell down before Jesus. Jesus responded to these sisters exactly where they were.

jesus met them

Martha came with her words, thoughts, and questions. Jesus dialogued with Martha about theology, faith, and resurrection. Their interaction led Martha to make a statement of faith, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world” (John 11:27). Before the resurrection of Lazarus, Martha again had an opportunity to affirm her faith (John 11:39–40).

Mary came full-body, with tears. Her release of grief and confusion was both emotional and physical. Jesus met her with his own tears… Jesus met her with his own tears as well as his anger at death itself (John 11:35, 38). The release of his own tears, his anger, and his emotions led the surrounding community to exclaim, “See how he loved him!” (John 11:36).

staying with jesus

Throughout the story you can’t help but wonder, why didn’t Jesus just heal Lazarus? Why did he wait for both the women to express their disappointment? Why did he linger?

He previously indicated that this all was bigger than what was happening in the present. He talked about resurrection and life and belief and glory, but why not go ahead and show Martha his power right away, or dry Mary’s tears right away (John 11:4, 15, 42)? Why did he let them grieve? Why did he himself grieve?

Truly, the ways of God are a mystery, and this mystery does not always bring us comfort. Yet, the invitation we see in this story is that God is a God who enters our story and stays there. God is a God who is willing to hear our questions, to wrestle with us, to patiently care for us. God is a God who is willing to feel the depth of emotion, anger at death, and sadness at loss. He is a God who is with us. And this God invites us to stay with him in our disappointments, our questions, our tears, and whatever we uniquely bring.

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Jesus Enables the Faithful

Daily Question

Seeing how Jesus stayed with the sisters, how does he want to stay with you? Is there an area of your life he has been quiet about, or unmoving?

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Comments (33)

In my life, I feel like God has been quiet and unmoving on which direction I should go in my career ,romantic life etc. Sometimes I hear a voice to put in the work that aligns with him, and avoid shortcuts of the enemy but somehow I am having trouble with discerning whether or not it is aligned with his calling or plan for me.

I believe God desires us to forgive our enemy, as well as, those whom we love, who hurt us. In addition, we must remember that forgiveness also applies to oneself. We must come to a place to seek forgiveness for our own actions actions ourselves and others.

While we access our ability to do this fully and relentlessly, God is with us patiently observing to our full submission to His word.

Although God walks with me daily, The area where God is quiet is on my long term future.

I know he wants to stay with me at a times, I. All decisions I make and in all circumstances. As I stated on yesterday’s post, I’ve recently had to disconnect myself from a ministry I’d been apart of the last three years. I’ve been praying for direction on next steps and haven’t heard any specifics yet. I will confine to pray I am led to place of believers who desire to worship him wholeheartedly!

I once thought there was an area God was quiet about and refusing to move. My son is a recovering alcoholic. He was abused by a church leader – the worship leader at a church we attended. Instead of telling us what happened our son tried to drown his shame, confusion, and disappointment in alcohol. We prayed and saught God’s help for 15 years, until finally our son saught help at a Christian recovery program for substance abuse. There he found a relationship with God again and we got our beautiful son back. Through those 15 years sometimes I was all attitude like Martha (WHY God). Sometimes I was like Mary. I beat myself up for not being a good enough parent (it’s always the mother’s fault). In hind sight I now see that God was always at work in this situation. He protected our son when he disappeared for days, He comforted our family when we didn’t understand, He calmed our anger when we found out the truth, He loved us through it all. At the end of the story the witness our son has become to our community is a bold testimony to the heal power of God.

Jesus has promised me a husband. I have waited for ten years now without the fulfillment of this promise, yet God stayed with me. He has not spoken anything cancelling this promise nor has He moved on my behalf in any way I can see. Yet, He stayed with me.
And, He is still God and He is still GOOD!

So many times…yet I have come to learn when God seems quiet or unmoved, he is still working behind the scenes. It’s just that as a human, when in the storms or in the process we don’t see that nor can we understand that so it hurts like crazy. Indeed God’s ways are not our ways. It’s never about us but about him. We can comfort ourselves knowing no matter what he is always in control and knows best and that it is in the process or waiting that we learn and grow because in everything, it must be to honor and glorify God. Amen.

No doubt that there are areas in my life where my faith is limboing, but today I’m encouraged that He’ll always stay by me even if my time for glory and victory hasn’t come.

Just existing. I’ve had many disappointments in my life. God has always kept me from calling it quits.

An area Jesus wants to stay with me is, I think, my mental health. I’ve struggled with a lot of things over the past year or two, but I feel that God is helping me see that I’m not alone and that it will get better. I don’t always open up about my struggles, but when I do it’s very emotional for me, but I know that God is here for me and that this won’t last forever.

The quiet areas of my life have been the battles of my sins and not seeing faith growth in my husband’s life.

I can see myself as a combination of Martha and Mary, and Jesus does meet me where my questions arise and where my emotions run high.

But I didn’t realize that Jesus also will meet me in my flaws of arrogance, of judgement, of hasty, of foolishness, of anger, of jealousy, of impatience. I have tried to put these flaws in a correction machine, cranked up by my power. I didn’t realize I can just let Jesus meet them, and He will do to them what He did to Martha and Mary and Lazarus.

Also I didn’t realize that Jesus meets other people in their uniqueness too. I have always thought that Jesus is a stamp. He stamps the same things onto people’s heart and life: peace, joy, faith, strength, power, goodness, gentleness, patience etc etc.

But this story tells me He may not stamp the same things onto each person. His ways with them are as unique as the individual is – Jesus deals with me differently than He deals with my husand and my family. Chances are they are receiving different things from God than I am receiving. And whether or not we will ever end up on the same page is totally up to God Himself what He pleases to do with us.

Amen to that.

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