Monday, March 21, 2011


“If only…” How many times have we used those words? It’s our typical response to circumstances we wish we could change.

When Jesus and the disciples arrived in Bethany they were told not only that Lazarus was dead, but that he had been buried for four days. When they finally arrive in Bethany, the family of Lazarus is not at all happy with him. John 11:20-22 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."

The first words of Martha reflect the classic response to a difficult situation, “If ….”
• “If only” I had convinced them to go to the doctor sooner.
• “If only” they had not been driving that evening.
• “If only” they had not had that surgery.
• “If only” they had been more careful.

What are we to do with our “if only’s?” We need to do what Martha and Mary did. They took them to Jesus. Even as Martha expresses her “if only you had been here” the idea is still in the back of her mind, that even yet He could still do something. She says in verse 22, "But I know that even now God will give You whatever You ask". The good news is that Jesus is big enough to take care of our disappointment.

Jesus asked her the most important question that any one can ever face: John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Jesus made this very personal. He asked “Do you believe this?" He is not asking, “Do you believe in God? Do you believe in life after death?” Rather He’s asking, “Do you believe this? Do you believe in Me? Do believe that I am the resurrection and the Life.”

Martha’s response in v. 27 was “Yes, Lord, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” She uses the “perfect tense of the verb”. It indicates a “firm and continuing commitment”. She had in the past put her faith in Jesus and that is where it remained. Jesus reminded her of her faith in Him.

When we’re faced with difficulties and unchangeable situations, the best response is to believe in Jesus and what He says is true and eternal. And let our minds and emotions rest on His infinite wisdom and our security in Him.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your commitment to teach and share the "Good News" through Clay Community Church, this blog, through your music and your personal walk with God. This message was so meaningful to me because of the obstacles I'm presently facing. It made me do some faith searching of my own life. Why do I not hesitate to believe in God when praying for a miracle, and yet forget to ask for his wisdom in my daily living? I will sit for hours trying to stretch a small income into a larger budget often allowing my faith to slip as anger, frustration,and the "woe is me syndrome" draw me farther away from God. I forget that just like the all important miracle I may have prayed for that God is just as powerful with solving my financial, daily living, and medical needs. When I ignore my faith patience no longer is a virtue but becomes Satan's tool to distract me from God through becoming impatient. It is heart wrenching to read these words I'm writing because there is an underlying arrogance about what I believe I can and should do compared to what God wants and is willing to do for me. For today, I will pay the toll to cross over to the bridge of true faith...the toll is simply asking for forgiveness, commit my faith in not what God can do for me, but believing in who "He is." I've learned that true faith does not require evidence and yet we serve a glorious God who provides evidence He is with us always if we will only take the time to see, hear or feel His presence. Have a blessed day.