Martha, John 11: 1-44
This had to be a pivotal moment for Martha. We have already seen that she was a hard worker and she liked things done just so. She was probably the type of woman who never procrastinated — she just did what needed to be done. But here is the man that she admired, the man who had been a guest in her home many times, and he had let her down. He had procrastinated and her brother had died because of it. Why hadn’t he come when he had gotten the news? Didn’t he care? Didn’t their friendship have any value at all?
Martha is now faced with the same crisis of faith that many of us go through. We try to be faithful – we go to church, we pray, we give and we endeavor to live our lives in ways that are pleasing to God. And then something happens and we REALLY need God to show up and fix things. But it doesn’t happen, and we are devastated. Our hearts are broken. Maybe we got this whole God thing wrong? I thought you promised to help me, Jesus, but you didn’t come. Do you think it was hard for her to say, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world” after witnessing her brother’s death? It would have been for me.
When my sister was diagnosed with cancer and given 9 months to live, I begged God to heal her. When it looked as if that wasn’t going to happen, I begged God to take her to heaven. Faith is never easy but I think it is especially difficult when there a life is on the line. In circumstances like these, faith means accepting that God cares even more about our loved ones than we do. Can God still do miracles? Yes. Will God always do miracles when we really need them? No. But this passage is proof that God’s heart brakes when ours does.