Martha waited through Lazarus illness....waiting for Jesus to come and change the circumstance. But He didn’t.
Martha walked through all the details of the funeral and the burial and watched the door of the tomb close. It was over.
In her grief, when Jesus came 4 days late, she still had faith that He could have healed and that resurrection would come, some future day. But not now.
Martha thought it was the end when Lazarus died. But when Lazarus’ life was over it wasn’t.
God was setting things up to elevate and increase her revelation of Himself, not merely change her painful circumstance.
In the middle of pain because our Lazarus is dead and even buried, we can still look for Jesus to come and bring what we really need....,not rescue but encounter with Him at the tomb that confronts our inadequate views. Lazarus’ resurrection was not just relief from grief; it was a radical step into revelation of God that turned Martha’s life upside down.
Truly knowing Jesus....this is the goal of our lives and God’s highest blessing for us. All that we most deeply desire flows to us increasingly through increasingly knowing Him. God invites and even compels us to press on towards deeper discovery of Him through every contrary circumstance and evidence. There is an as-yet-unknown joy of the spirit that God is continually seeking to draw us into. It can only be known by the encounters in which He confronts our natural mindsets and expectations.
Jesus does not come to simply reverse enemy inroads. He comes to enter our lives and radically shift us from our limited living to His ‘no mind has conceived’ kind of living! His goal in our crisis is for us to see Him as we never have before and walk with Him into places we never imagined before. Like Martha, He wants us to discover that resurrection is not an event in time but a Person Who is here to BE the ongoing miracle of resurrection Life -- the miracle we truly want.
Our calling to KNOW Him includes both the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. To get to the joy, there must be endurance. That means no escape, no quick fix, no giving in to disappointment, no giving up at any point along the way. We are ready to settle for mere natural comforts but He is determined to give us the deepest and most satisfying Life that is possible....full of joy inexpressible because we know Him.
Joseph and Daniel had every human love and expectation ripped away, their hearts were broken, their natural hopes destroyed. Yet their lives were not over...rather they were positioned for influence far beyond anything they could have dreamed. The literal ‘suns’ of their day bowed to them BECAUSE in their personal deaths they still trusted in God Who is ABLE to rescue and Who is WORTHY to be trusted even when He doesn’t.