Craziest thing ever! My boot camp instructor told me I needed to get right!
Last night I was grouchy and told her so. I dragged myself to boot camp, told the trainer I’m here and I know I’ll feel better afterward, so, yeah I’m here, that’s all.
If I moved I’d feel better, if I left the house I’d be less worried. My workout was intentional, I was not there for fun and games, I just wanted her to know. Not in the mood for conversation, there to unravel my day, let my blood up its flow, let go the things needed to let go.
She responded with her usual firm motivationally cocky type retort, not allowing me to be pouty and then firmly added, “Get right with God!”
And it was odd because we don’t talk about Jesus at boot camp, she and the others if I’m honest only vaguely know of my faith, only vaguely know I believe.
So, I took it as important, her reply so important for me to hear, to adhere. I was tired of waiting for things to happen in my life; beginning to believe some things will never change and some breakthroughs have gone another direction, not coming through for me anymore. Work stuff, work worries.
Before I even read from two different perspectives about Martha, I was wondering already this morning about how and whether I believe. Do I believe for others; but, not for me?
Like Martha, maybe, the sister of Mary and of Lazarus. It occurs to me now, she must’ve been the middle child, the one who kept an eye out for discord, the one who anticipated family drama, the one who got all concerned and withdrawn when there seemed to an issue. She was perpetually on the edge of coming unhinged.
But, she didn’t see it, I don’t believe. She saw herself as the keeper of control, she was one who believed in Jesus yet made it her role to be on guard against trouble, to be prepared when it came.
Jesus compared her to her sister, Mary.
He’d come to visit them and Martha was busy cleaning, preparing, ready to put on a show. She was frustrated when he noticed Mary. He told her to notice too. Mary sat in silence, she waited unworried, just wanted to be with Jesus, somehow knew nothing more was expected. Her lack of activity, of anxiety, of frantic expectation, led Jesus to tell Martha, I’m sorry to tell you but her choice is “the better”.
I imagine Martha knew her patterns, like me, sporadic in her change, but determined to let them go.
Slowly breaking the habit of questioning everything and keeping in control.
Some time passed after Jesus sat with them in their home and they beckoned him to return, this time to perform a miracle, their brother was dead.
They believed through Jesus he could live.
Do you believe this? Jesus John 11:26
When Martha settled into the unlikelihood her brother would be revived, she answered Jesus’ question with a yes that was sort of a but or an even though…I guess, still.
I imagine her demeanor was calm, her resignation confirming her fear that became acceptance. He would be healed and he would live, her brother would see heaven.
Belief is sometimes just acceptance and with acceptance, there is always a hint of sullen. Acceptance isn’t usually accompanied by joy; just an okay but I really hoped it could be better. It’s a settling for less than we believed and I believe it’s because of what we believe about ourselves.
I wonder if Martha remembered the time she spent sweeping up the kitchen instead of sitting beside her sister and Jesus. If, because of her cleaning compulsions and her less than enthusiastic worship, she had no right to believe in miracles.
Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” John 11:21-22
Jesus had other ideas.
Ideas to reveal His Father’s glory. He kept no record of the ways she viewed herself as wrong.
I do this sometimes, sell myself short on God’s glory and greatness. I decide in comparison to others, I’m not quite so worthy. Like Martha, I believe in good for others, not so much for me.
And I surely believe in heaven but sometimes not so much at all, do I believe in now.
Intention, felt wrong when I wrote it, like a word that didn’t belong with the others: rest and attentiveness.
But, the day is almost done and intention has finished the sentence, is the conclusion to this morning’s story.
Believing with the intention of trusting.
Now I see. Now I’m right in my thinking.
Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” John 11: 40 NLT
Right with you…God.
Father, thank you for hearing me. John 11:41 NLT
Jesus, I believe.