The deeper my relationship with Christ gets, the more I appreciate what He’s done and IS doing for me. This weekend, I was reminded of how there are times, I don’t always respond in a way that is pleasing to Him. It’s interesting because when I mess up, I know it. If it’s a mistake, I fess up, clean up, and move on. I take responsibility and understand that mistakes will happen. Jesus still loves me.
Well, there are other times when, it isn’t so much a mistake that I make; I would categorize it more as negligence. Admittedly, I am at times negligent to my responsibilities as Christ’s bride. Times when I get caught up in my own selfish reaction or feelings. Kind of like Mary and Martha did in John 11, when they lacked faith and blamed Jesus for Lazarus’ death.
Ugh … not an easy thing to admit .. but there are times when perhaps, I react selfishly .. when I feel my needs aren’t being met by a loved one .. or overreact to something that really isn’t that big of a deal .. maybe not watching my tongue because I’m ‘having a bad day’ .. or perhaps even not being careful of what or whom I share with. Sigh .. there really is no justification for my behavior in those moments. I’ve literally just given over to my flesh and am creating a mess. A mess that literally, only Jesus can clean up. Often, I’m not even aware of the damage I’m doing because I’m too focused on ME. After reading this particular passage this weekend, I have a better understanding that Jesus really does get upset with us when we do things like this. It’s something that I have to come to grips with, I’m not always at a place where I am going to be pleasing to my bride-groom.
Oh how I realize my need for Him! How did Jesus react to the unbelief He encountered? The Word tells us He was troubled in His spirit and groaned within Himself .. but how He chose to handle it … He Wept. I can only imagine how it must feel for Him to not have His disciples on the same page. Here, He spends time loving, healing, sharing, caring, and even letting these ladies in on what He has in store and how do they react? Disbelief .. lack of faith .. negligent .. completely contrary to what He’s trying to accomplish .. yep .. we do a pretty good job of mucking up His plans. Yet still, He loves us.
What amazes me … He doesn’t freak out on Mary, Martha, and the Jews that lacked faith. He dealt with His spirit by weeping .. showing us how to seek His face in times of trouble or frustration .. then He continued on His path and completed the miracle. His reaction was nothing but pure love! He gave Mary and Martha room to grow. The good news is, He really is all about mercy and grace.
I can’t help but feel that the stories we read are constantly Him talking to His bride trying to get her to see that He really is all about mercy, if she would only look in the mirror and realize just how much room He gives her to grow. If we could just realize that He would like us to give the same in return, to others. If we could just realize how much He withholds His wrath from ALL of us because He wants to include ALL of us! Will He have to draw the line some day? You bet. But today, it’s mercy .. it’s grace .. it’s Love.
And even when we don’t ‘get it’ … still, Christ loves us. He continues to draw, continues to gently correct, continues to withhold His wrath, continues to teach, continues to lead .. continues to love.
If only we truly understood how much He really loves us .. All of us. The Bible .. it really is the greatest Love Story ever written. The best part, you and I both play an important role .. and Jesus is going to show us each how to play our part. He really is an awesome God!