An inexplicable nudge lurches her into motion. She decides not to wait for Him any longer and rushes to meet Him in the road. She skips the usual greetings and pleasantries and blurts out the swirlings in her chest. He doesn’t stop her. He knows that her heart is heavy and the wrestling has been fierce.
This is the Martha, who previously placed a 1:1 conversation with the Savior second to “necessary” tasks. But now, in her desperate need, it is the only thing on her mind. She was never afraid to ask the hard questions. But on this day, there are no questions, just raw outpouring of her heart – her insistence that His presence could have made a difference, but it seems too late. Her brother Lazarus is already dead. Four days ago – dead.
She scrambles for hope to hold onto and trust glimmers in the confidence that the resurrection is a reality she looks forward to. She dares to stretch beyond what she can see and know, looks to Jesus and says, “even now, whatever You ask, the Father will give You.” She can’t even imagine what that might be, does she even dare to hope?
Although clearly on His way to them with His own purposes in mind, Jesus lets time stand still to meet Martha where she is – and to have this 1:1 conversation that is long overdue. He challenges her thinking and realigns her hope:
* The truth of resurrection is not a theology or an idea but a Person.
* Eternal life is not an eventual gift but a reality that includes today.
* More than any reunion of a treasured earthly tie, He wants her to cling to Him.
* He wants her to understand that anything or anyone of true eternal value is never lost when safe in the Father’s care.
Mary hears He is near and rushes out to meet Him too. He can see she is broken with grief. He knows that these two sisters are very different, and He comes along side of each one uniquely and intimately.
He doesn’t linger over conversation with Mary. Although she has treasured many 1:1 dialogues with Him, He knows there are no words for the sorrow that has engulfed her. He simply says, “take Me to him.”
He does not explain or discuss or correct. He simply chooses to be present. He knows He is about to make all things new again, but He affectively says:
Let Me just be in this place with you right now.
Let Me come close to you in this time of mourning.
Let Me just grieve with you.
And then, I will make it all OK again.
Then I will reveal more of Myself to you.
Then I will make all things new.
If you believe, you will see the glory of God!
This is our Savior. Our Lord Jesus created us. He is the One who loves us enough that He gave everything to redeem us. Every moment of ours is important to Him.
He knows us intimately… and He longs for us to know Him intimately too. He will take any opportunity just to be present – but also to help us see Him in fresh, new ways – ways that reveal His glory!
It thrills His heart to see us run to Him. He will always meet us. He will always know exactly what we need, when we need it, and provide it abundantly.
His care is tender.
His words refocus our thinking with eternally unchanging truth.
His power breathes life.
His presence speaks peace.
When we encounter others in times of struggle or grief, we can extend the love and care of Jesus to them! We can follow His example and simply choose to be present. To listen. To grieve with them. And then, as His Spirit gives us the words, we can speak life and peace and truth that steadies and points them back to the Savior who loves them and will walk them through their time of trial.
We can remind them (and ourselves!) that He cares, O yes, Jesus cares!
Read more here – John 11:1-45 – Psalm 55:22 – Proverbs 12:25 – Isaiah 43:19 – 1 Peter 5:7 – Philippians 4:6-7 – Revelation 21:5
Does Jesus Care? (Frank E. Graeff – 1901)
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press and the cares distress,
and the way grows weary and long?
Oh yes He cares, I know He cares
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary and the long nights dreary
I know my Savior cares
Does Jesus care when my way is dark
with a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
does He care enough to be near?
Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
to resist some temptation strong?
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
though my tears flow all night long?
Does Jesus care when I’ve said goodbye
to the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks –
is it aught to Him? Does He see?