This week I was reading from the book of John and was struck by verse 40 in chapter 11 which says,
“Jesus said to her (Martha), “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” Brackets mine
Just to give you a brief background of what had happened.
A few days before, Lazarus, brother to Martha and Mary had fallen sick and the sisters had sent for Jesus.
Jesus delayed in coming and Lazarus died.
When Jesus finally shows up, Lazarus has been in the tomb four days.
Jesus spoke these words to Martha after she tried to reason him out of opening the tomb.
I read these verses and couldn’t help thinking about my shallow faith when I have difficulties in my marriage.
You see dear wives without a personal supernatural faith, we are not going to experience the supernatural in our lives and marriages.
Martha had a specific word from the Lord concerning her loss – that her brother would rise again.
Nonetheless His word required her to forget all that she was seeing, all that she was thinking, feeling and experiencing.
Where is your faith?
Are you at that place where God’s promise is clashing with your reality? Everything you use to measure and gauge God’s word, well, none of it is working?
We are good with crutches, we wives. We over-rely, put our hopes in our environment.
Actually sometimes the reason we feel strong is because of our associations – our praying husband, good friends, ordinary circumstances.
And when faced with difficulties, we cling to our “anointed associations”…with little personal faith of our own, without really clinging to the word from the Master concerning our situations.
And wanting to grow us up, God comes along and begins to kick out our props. He strips us of our “anointed associations” – so that we can learn how to be anointed all by ourselves.
Here’s a question for you (and me) today, how is our personal walk with the Lord?
Are we close enough to hear Him speak to us concerning that situation in our lives and marriage?
Can we sense Him urging us to a higher level of faith and engagement for our marriage?
No ordinary place
Martha was in no ordinary place. And maybe you are in no ordinary place today.
Here’s something I am learning – some of the situations we go through in this life will not be solved with ordinary faith.
However, that strong extraordinary faith we need for these difficult situations does not come from pumping ourselves up or being positive or through any other human effort.
This kind of supernatural faith comes from hanging out with Jesus even in our pain and distress and hearing Him speak words that bring life and strength to our souls.
It comes from hanging on to everything He says and refusing to go by the ordinary.
But He does the heavy lifting
One thing I love about this story is how Jesus, inspite of Martha’s hesitation and ignorance of God’s resurrection power (to raise her brother up at that moment), went on to perform a big miracle for the family.
Martha’s weak faith- seen through her hesitation to open that tomb – notwithstanding Christ still raises Lazarus from the dead.
Hallelujah, there’s hope for every one of us!
Sure we have a part to play, we must put on our big girls pants but guess what, Christ does the heavy lifting!
He works in us and moves us towards this great faith and then performs beyond our thinking and expectations!
I am so glad God doesn’t give me what I deserve!
God has purposed to do great things in our lives and marriages this year. But will we see it?
Will we allow Him to come walking into our situations and life? Or will stand infront of our tombs and refuse to open them up to His power and scrutiny?
In an earlier verse, Christ declared “I am the resurrection and the life..”
Do you believe He is the resurrection and the life to your life and marriage? Will you allow His life to flow into yours?
You know, I found myself praying for greater faith…greater than Martha’s – I want to be in tune with God, so in tune that I believe from the get go, I don’t want to hesitate and fret over my ruins and desolations.
But for a second I felt ridiculous praying like that.
I mean here’s a woman who was Jesus’ friend, who saw Him in flesh – what makes me think I could do better than her given the same circumstances?.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my desire to have more faith was not ridiculous at all.
Because I was sitting at a very difference place from where Martha sat. She was a character in that story, she had not experienced the end of it.
But I have!
I can read and see how the story ended and therefore I can believe all the more because I have a better view!
Whatever situation you are in in your marriage or life today, I pray you hear the voice of the Lord asking you to believe so that you would see the glory of God.
I pray you choose to walk the not-so-ordinary path with God, to choose to believe God like you’ve never done before.
I pray that you’ll let go of pride and worry and fears which keeps you mired in marriage blues, and you’ll allow Him to walk into the deepest parts of your heart and marriage and bring life and healing where you need it.