When Jesus Disappoints Us

 "Then she (Martha) left Him and returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, 'The Teacher is here and wants to see you.' So Mary immediately went to Him.......When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell down at His feet and said, 'Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.' " John 11:28-29, 32...."The Father's answer to our every question is to give us more of Jesus." Watchman Nee


Let's face the truth of it all together. We have all had times when we have been disappointed, perhaps greatly, with Jesus. I once thought to be in such a state was the ultimate sin. He's my Lord and Savior. All He does and is is good. How can there be any room for disappointment? If there's a problem, it has to be on my part, and I had better get that problem taken care of....now. If I don't, I'll surely end up disappointing Him. It took me a long time to learn the lie of all this kind of thinking, and the captivity it brings. No one understands the frailty of our humanity better than He does. The fact that it shows through in our walk with Him, and very often at that, doesn't surprise Him. And it doesn't put Him off from us. In fact, it does the very opposite, and we see it clearly with how He relates to Mary in the death of her brother Lazarus. As a friend has put it, the sisters knew the spiritual facts about Jesus, but they lacked the reality of those facts in their own lives and relationship with Him. How like them we tend to be.


The sisters, Martha and Mary were grieving the loss of their brother. Both knew that Jesus had arrived, and both knew that He possessed the power to heal their brother. Both were disappointed in Jesus. Martha, being Martha, went out to meet Him and bluntly expressed that disappointment. I've been Martha, and maybe you have as well. I've let Him know in more than one instance that I believed He had failed me. Mary, unlike Martha, held back, withdrew from Him. I've been like Mary as well. Pulling back from Him in my pain, my disappointment, even my anger. Yet, Jesus didn't leave Mary in her room. He sought her out. In her disappointment, and all the diverse feelings and emotions that must have been swirling within her, He called her to Himself. It was not to rebuke or upbraid her. It was to bring to her healing, hope, and wholeness. It's always so with Jesus and us....if we'll have it.

There's something I see in this happening between Martha, Mary, and Jesus. It's that in their pain and disappointment with Him, they didn't lose their reverence and love for Him. Both called Him Lord. Both still believed. Both still worshiped Him. They had unanswered questions that only served to increase their pain. Jesus had behaved in a way that seemed to contradict everything they believed and knew of Him. Whether we impulsively question Him as did Martha, or pull away from Him like Mary, Jesus will never be threatened by that. He will not pull away. He will seek us out. Because in the pain and chaos of all we might be feeling, thinking, and experiencing, He sees our hearts, and it is to our hearts He comes and speaks. 

He has never promised that He would not disappoint us. He has, He does, and He will. He has promised that He will never cease to pursue us in the midst of it all. He may not raise up our particular "Lazarus" as He did here, but He will certainly raise us up in the midst of all the darkness. If we will surrender all our disappointment and its accompanying questions to Him. At His feet, we find life.

In all of life's disappointments and questions, Jesus makes one statement in response; "I am the resurrection and the life.....do you believe this?" 
In our disappointments, failures, and sins, this is what He promises to be to us. He gives and offers this life to you and me right now. Wherever we might be.....do we receive it?


Pastor O

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   May 2019   
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