Tag Archives: daily devotions

Wrestling with God-Distractions

By Emily boston (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Meet my soul sister:  Her name is Martha of Bethany.  She is a bit OCD (obsessive-compulsive), a worrier, wants life to be fair, and desires to be a hostess with the mostest.  As we say in the South, “Bless her!” (Which means, “I so understand!”)  Martha has a servant’s heart.  She is, however, a bit cranky when everyone around her isn’t on the same page and she is not ashamed to voice it directly and with intention.  (John 12:2, Luke 10:38-42)

Jesus loved this woman!  In fact, in John 11:5, I noticed he called her by name and He called her brother by name, Lazarus, but her sister is addressed as “her sister: this is the sister who would anoint the feet of Jesus and wipe them with her hair and her tears!  What did he see in Martha and Lazarus that moved Him to call them by name, but not Mary, the sister?  Was He moved by Martha’s anxiety to serve Him well?  Did He see her heart burdened by “many things?”  Was He saddened she wanted to “get it all right” to the point she was missing He was already pleased?

To fully understand, we need to back-up in time a bit to the period of time Lazarus was sick and died and Jesus failed to come quickly at Martha’s beckoning. (‘Cause it is all about what she needs!)   The story is found in John 11.  When Jesus decides it is time to go to Bethany, He already knows Lazarus has died.  He waited intentionally that the glory of God be revealed in this family!  (Chew on this a few minutes.)  This is some tough fodder.

When Martha hears Jesus is on His way, she goes out to meet Him and she “let Him have it!”  She wants an explanation of His delay and makes it quite clear, she doubts there will be a sufficient one.  Jesus tells her “your brother Lazarus will rise,” and she thinks she has it all figured out because she knows the TORAH!  (Scriptures)  

Jesus goes to the tomb of Lazarus.  Jesus is standing and looking at a grave similar to the one He will SOON occupy.  He is here to give proof He will rise from the dead by raising this friend of His.  Jesus gives instructions to remove the stone from the grave and Martha’s reply is what mine would have been:  “Have. You. Lost. Your. Mind? He stinks!  You waited three days!”  Reality battles faith.  The wrestle of wanting to trust; trusting He finds you worthy enough to do it for you!

Jesus did raise her brother from the dead!  So, of course, she wants to HONOR Jesus with her service!  The problem arises here.  She is now trying to “repay” the Savior.  How many of us have asked the Lord for something we wanted more than anything, but doubted He would give it and THEN, when He did what we asked we feel encumbered to repay???  How many of us have bargained with the Lord to answer a prayer promising we will forever serve Him?  The answer becomes a distraction and the best of intentions get twisted and we lose sight of the Savior and His goal of relationship over service.  I believe this is what was happening in this home.  Jesus did His best to gently draw her back to relationship by inviting her to sit with Him.  We are not told what her response was.  Did she huff off and finish the meal or did she in embarrassed laughter acquiesce to Jesus and sit down next to “her sister?”  The wrestle was real.  IT WAS HER HOUSE AND HE WAS HER GUEST.  Does she do what Emily Post screams is the correct way or listen to the Holy Spirit’s gentle nudge?  What will you do today?  Will you listen to the screams of the distractions of life, others, conventional wisdom, and media or will you respond to the Holy Spirit’s gentle call into fellowship?  Wrestle down those distractions!




Wonderful, Merciful Savior,by Selah

Holy Father in Heaven,

Thank you for always meeting my needs and seeing the heart of Your servant as I desire to serve you and for pursuing me in relationship!  Forgive the many distractions allowed to come between us.   May I “seek the Savior more than the saving, the Healer more than the healing.”  In the name of the One who brings healing, hope, and salvation.  Jesus.  Amen