John 11:30-32 – Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
This is from the dramatic story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. This tragic story begins with Lazarus, along with his sisters Mary and Martha, who were friends of Jesus. This is where Jesus rested. Their home is where Jesus felt comfortable. Yet Jesus let Lazarus die even as he healed so many strangers.
Mary and Martha sent for Jesus to come when Lazarus got sick but he chose to wait. So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. John 11:5-6.
Why? Why Jesus?!!!!!!!!
We, the reader, find out why the verse earlier. But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” John 11:4.
Mary and Martha did not know this. They only had their questions and their grief. Their smash-hearted grief.
I know these questions. I know this kind of grief. Mary got to pound her questions and grief at Jesus’ feet. I’m jealous of that. I love this part of the story because I so often wish I could do that. I have no problem pounding my questions and grief to Jesus. I just am not able to do it at his feet, to feel his feet, to see his eyes look at me as I’m pounding.
I love knowing I have a Saviour who will let me pound my questions and grief towards him.
Truth is asking where Jesus is, being angry at God, is still faith. I am still believing in the saving power of grace while I’m pounding at his feet.
This is faith mixed with total confusion. And it is enough. It is personal. It is real. It causes Jesus’ heart to break too.
When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. John 11:33-35.
It causes Jesus’ heart to break so much that he wept. It causes Jesus’ heart to break so much that he takes action. His supernatural action.
This is why my faith is not shaken when my heart is smashed. Because I know that I can pound at his feet and Jesus hears me. This sort of relationship allows me to wait for his supernatural action and believe he is still for me in the waiting. I believe that I am not abandoned but have his attention all the more dearly.
Do we really think we will shock Jesus if we tell him how we really feel? Would we be doing our souls any good by pretending “I am okay?” Seriously, friends. Why are you trying to pretend with Jesus?
Maybe because you think God is cruel?
Something I have learned from my times spent pounding at Jesus’ feet, from my broken and painful times. I am no longer overcome by irrational fear that God really doesn’t have a good plan for me. That God is cruel.
I am a broken mess but I have learned that God is for me.
That his love for me is a love that also waits.
Love to me would be to rush to someone’s side to help and to fix. To have an end to this pain. Yet sometimes love also has to wait. You know this is true.
Because you have to wait for something doesn’t mean that love is any less. It means you love so much so you are waiting for the better thing.
This is faith mixed with total confusion. I’m not stupid to own a faith like this.
I’m choosing to believe that God will redeem every bit of this painful mess. Because God loves me enough to wait too.
Meanwhile, his heart is broken with me.
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash