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

Psalm 62:8
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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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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 (7)

Jesus wants to stay with me in my singleness. He has shown me over and over how He has been and will be present. Lately, He is reminding me more than ever how this time can be used to dig deeper in the person of God through His Word and the example of Christ as well as how to be intentional in the relationships that He has entrusted me with at this time. I have found so much joy and fulfillment in these things as the two greatest commandments have collided in my life in a way I couldn’t have imagined and more beautifully than I could ever create.

wow! I totally agree with you if we cannot be happy in our singleness we will not be happy with a life partner. God has given us everything we need to love him, love others and to love ourselves and be grateful every single moment of our lives.

Our son’s illness. Jesus has the power to heal him and power over his illness, but he is quiet right now. Our son is in pain which is so hard for a mom and dad to bear. We know Jesus is sitting right here with us and we pray fervently and wait patiently for Jesus to intervene, asking for strength and courage in the midst of the waiting as in Psalm 27:14.

I am standing with you in healing for your son by the Blood of Jesus Christ. I pray for peace to surround you and your husband that transcends all understanding and that the joy of the Lord will fill your household. Thank you Jesus for the cross for by your stripes we are healed.

I have definitely been in a season of waiting and this story brings me comfort and hope. Thank you IF for bringing it to life for me. I have never really thought that much about how intentional Jesus was in making them wait. It’s comforting to know that even in the waiting He is there. I have always felt a personal connection with Mary. Feeling it even more so now. I love how Jesus loved her, and feel without a doubt His love for me today.

Jesus stays with me by keeping me as my husbands balance and center. He’s been going through a lot and needs the reminder that Christ loves him even though it may not seem like it at the moment. He seems quiet to me in the front of Education and where my husband is supposed to be but I still talk with God daily about it and await a response.

I was intrigued by the mystery of why Jesus made them wait. And never knew about the soul remaining around for three days according to some Jews belief. But I was thinking that Jesus let Mary and Martha struggle because he wanted them to wrestle with death. Death is but it is a difficult part of our growth. Martha and Mary needed to wrangle with death . Only then could they grow in wisdom and be prepared to comfort others.

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