From Bad to Worse
Loving God, when I am facing death, mine or another’s, remind me that You are ready to take up my burdens.
Read John 11:17-27
 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.  Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,  and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.  “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”  Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”  Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”  “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhen Jesus arrived in Bethany who was the first to meet him?
The home of Martha and Mary was engulfed in gloom. And things would get worse before they got better. Not only was their beloved brother very ill, but Jesus, their beloved friend and Lord, had failed to respond to their desperate SOS. Then dawns their darkest hour–Lazarus dies. When news of Jesus’ imminent arrival reaches her, Martha promptly leaves the house of mourning and goes to meet Jesus (20). And from the moment of her meeting with Jesus, Martha’s outlook brightens. Her first words to Jesus, despite a hint of reproach, express her faith in Jesus’ power to heal (21); and the very act of giving voice to her feelings seems to strengthen her faith further (22). Martha goes on to reaffirm her faith–not only in what Jesus can do (22), but, more important, in who Jesus is (27). Sometimes Jesus does not grant the healing we want. Not everyone we pray for is healed; many we plead for die. Yet, like Martha, as we meet Jesus, we must dare to trust his promises (25). There, we find hope and help to overcome the darkness of present realities.
Write down, briefly, what you believe about life after death. As Jesus approaches, recall your faith in eternal life.
Tender Lord Jesus, I need You every hour of every day and I give You thanks for being ready to sustain me.
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