When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him. But Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if only You had been here, my brother would not have died." John 11:20-21
Months ago, my family and I took a vacation to Orlando, Florida. We spent the week at Disney World. We all had a blast. I especially loved seeing all of the different characters. We met Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Tigger, Darth Vader, Goofy, and many other characters. All of these characters were in costume, which included masks that displayed big smiles. As I was watching and meeting these characters, I could not help but wonder, "How are these characters really feeling?" "What do they look like underneath their mask?" "Are they smiling?" "Are they frowning?" "Are they tired?" Each of these masks disguised the person's real personality and real feelings and made it, so they appeared to be perfectly happy and content. As I watched these characters and thought about it, I could not help but think how sad it would be to live underneath a mask, pretending to be perfectly happy all of the time with no emotions. Then, I thought about how grateful I am that we do not have to approach God that way. We do not have to pretend to be anything that we are not with Him. In fact, today, we are going to discover that we can be really honest with Him when we approach Him, even when we are confused and disappointed.
In John 11, we find out that Jesus waited two days before going to Lazarus after finding out that he was very sick. When he finally went to see him, Lazarus had died. When Jesus arrived in the town that Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived, Lazarus had been dead for four days. Martha ran to meet Jesus and said these heartbreaking words: "Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died" (verse 21). Have you ever felt like Martha? Maybe you have felt that God was distant, or even absent, during your pain. Maybe you have asked Him, "Where are you?" Maybe you are feeling like asking Him that right now.
Did you know that it is okay to ask Him these questions? In fact, it is good to honestly ask Him these questions and show Him your frustrations. However, our cries to God should not be without hope. Notice John 11:21. Martha told Jesus that even at this point after Lazarus had died, she knew that Jesus could do anything. In fact, Jesus went on to explain that He Himself was the resurrection and the life. And that is exactly what she wanted for her brother.
My friend, it's time today to get honest with God. Tell Him your hurts and disappointments. Tell Him the areas of your life where you are confused. He invites us to be honest with Him and share these things. You do not have to wear a mask when you talk to Him. You do not always have to appear happy and smiling. You can tell Him when you are confused and hurt. You can come to Him just as you are.
Today, your call is to be honest with God. Pull out your journal or a notebook. Tell God what you are going through, and tell Him about your hurts, hardships, and disappointments. Tell Him if you are confused or hurting. Tell Him exactly how you are feeling. He can handle it. In fact, He already knows, and He wants you to be perfectly honest with Him.
Read John 11:17-27 (NLT)
When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem, and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss. When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”
Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
“Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”
“Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”
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