The Unexpected

I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. Romans 7:19 (NLT)

Mary and Martha just lost their brother. He got sick. Really sick. They knew the situation looked bleak so they sent a message to Jesus telling him that his friend was gravely ill. Jesus lingered. He didn’t rush to them. He hung out where he was and Lazarus died. By the time Jesus got to the little village, Lazarus had been dead for four days. Four days of decomposing in a cave. Not a pretty thing to imagine.

As he entered into Bethany, Martha came to him and said “Jesus, if only you had been here, Lazarus would not have died. But I believe in you. I know you can do anything.” Jesus said “He’ll rise again.” Almost like, don’t worry. He’ll be OK. Martha told him she knew she would see Lazarus again at the resurrection. She’d been around dead people before. She knew how this worked.

During this conversation, Martha told Jesus “I believe in who you are. I believe in what you can do.” Jesus had a similar conversation with Mary and then asked to go to the tomb. When they got there, Jesus said “Roll the stone away.” Martha responded with a response that was similar to “You can’t do that! He’s been dead four days. There will be a terrible smell.”

Martha, who minutes before said “I believe in you. I believe you are the Messiah.” is now saying “What are you doing? You can’t do that!” And as I ponder this, I realize I act just like Martha.

I will pray and tell God I know he can do anything. I will pray big prayers expecting to see Him move and then when he starts to do something, I say “That is too big. I can’t do that.”

Notice the switch there? “I can’t do that.” As I talked to God about this he very firmly showed me that when I am afraid of the big, out of the box, things he is doing, it’s because I am looking at me. I am not looking at Him. I believe in his power….until it’s time to step into His plan. Then it becomes about me. But God doesn’t need me to do anything. He doesn’t need my list of accomplishments or competencies. What He does require is 100% faith.

Jesus said in Matthew 19:26 “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Did you see that? EVERYTHING! There is only one thing to do when I am trying to limit God because of my fear. Refocus my gaze from me to Him. Step out in faith even if I am afraid and then watch what He does.

I am sure no one in Bethany expected Jesus to raise Lazarus from the dead. He never does the expected. And, he never does the same thing twice. So, focus on Him, hold on tight and be amazed by the God that does His best work in the “unexpected.”

Elaine (

Written by Diane Levy


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