Mary and Martha’s brother, Lazarus, was sick. Their desire was for their brother to be healed so he wouldn’t die.
By faith Mary and Martha called Jesus to come and heal their brother.
What happened to their faith when Jesus didn’t show up?
When Lazarus got worse and worse?
When Lazarus breathed his last breath?
When their desire wasn’t fulfilled?
This is a way too heavy topic to address here, but one thing the Lord is impressing upon me that gives me some understanding is to consider…
What is the object of my faith?
What am I looking at, what am I focusing on, what am I worshipping?
Is my faith fully rooted in God; trusting in His sovereignty, in His purposes that will bring Him glory?
Or is my faith attached to my desire; looking to and trusting in the fulfillment that will make me happy?
Am I worshipping my desire more than the One who gives me my desires?
Am I looking for my answer to prove the sovereignty, power, and love of God, instead of looking to the sovereign, powerful, loving God for His answer.
When I worship my desire the answer I receive, whether it is a “yes,” or a “no,” will affect me. My thoughts, responses, even my beliefs will be swayed by how my prayer is answered.
This is a test to see if I worship my desires more than God…
“How do I respond when my prayers aren’t answered the way I want?”
There is another way to view my desires…
I can choose to keep God as the focus of my worship. I can choose to put all my trust, hope, and faith in Him and in His sovereignty, His power, and in His love.
When I choose to keep God as the object of my worship, my desire is no longer on the throne, no longer does the answer to my desire determine how I feel, how I think, how I believe. I am free to live in the faith that my God knows what is best. I am free to rejoice in the truth that God is for me, that He sees the big picture, and that no matter whether I receive my desire or not He is still God, He never changes, He is on His throne!
Lazarus was in the tomb four days.
Family and friends were mourning for four days.
Then, Jesus came.
Mary and Martha had just one thing to say, “Jesus, if You had been here our brother would not have died.”
“Jesus, if You had been here…”
How many times have you found yourself accusing Jesus for not being there for you, or for being too late? How often have you blamed Him for not doing what you asked Him to do?
When we find ourselves blaming God it is a sure sign that we are worshipping our desire more than worshipping Him.
Jesus had a plan from the very moment He was called to go to Lazarus…
“When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” John 11:4
Jesus told His disciples that this sickness wasn’t “onto death,” but for the “glory of God.” There was a greater purpose in this sickness.
Mary and Martha’s faith believed for healing. Their desire was for Jesus to come, to make their brother well, so that he wouldn’t die.
Jesus saw this situation differently. It wasn’t that He didn’t love Mary and Martha. It wasn’t that He ignored their call or their faith.
Actually, it was for the very reason that He loved Mary and Martha that He had a greater purpose, a greater story!
A greater purpose that didn’t line up with their desire.
A greater purpose for the glory of God.
When we call out to God with a desire, when we attach our faith to something that we believe God can do, we must not put our ideas of what the answer will look like above what God wills to do.
When Jesus saw the people weeping He groaned in His spirit. When He went to the tomb He wept.
I don’t know why Jesus expressed these emotions…what was behind them? Some have shared their thoughts.
Sometimes I think that He is grieved by the way we grieve over things that are meant to bring Him glory.
When Jesus spoke with Martha, He didn’t condemn her for blaming Him for not being there, or for not answering her desire in the way she wanted. He didn’t condemn her for mourning her brother’s death. But Jesus did change her focus. He took her eyes from the physical realm and into the spiritual realm, and onto the greater purposes of God.
It is these greater purposes of God that we don’t often take the time to see. It’s these greater purposes of God that get overlooked when we are blaming God and mourning our loss. We actually hinder the greater purposes of God when we choose to give in to doubt and unbelief.
“And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” John 11:37
These responses are what I believe may have been why Jesus was groaning.
So, what is the proper way to respond when our desires aren’t answered in the way and time we want?
I’m sure there are many ways God intends good for His children in these times, but one thing…I believe it provides an opportunity to draw near to God so that you live through your circumstance in a way that will create the story God intends; a story that will show us and those around us how awesome God is.
You can allow for disappointment to bring you to the place where you choose to trust in His sovereignty over your life. You can choose to take your desire off the throne, to stop worshipping it, and to and put God back on the throne of your heart. When He alone is Lord in your life it removes the confusion, the disappointment, and the hurt that comes from unfulfilled desires. It allows for your heart to become one with God and aligns your desires with His.
This oneness of heart is what Jesus had with His Father, and it is what He prayed that we too will have…
“I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” John 17:20-23
When your heart is one with God’s heart your desires will create an incredible story that is filled with evidences of God’s amazing love and incredible power to those around you who need to know Him.