“Take away the stone,” [Jesus] said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man (Lazarus), “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:39-40, emphasis mine)
Jesus had just missed Lazarus’ passing, and had now come to console Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha. But what Mary and Martha didn’t know was they were about to experience the glory of God.
Jesus asks Martha to do something, on the surface, that seems foolish. Jesus asks her to remove the stone of her brother’s tomb. She replies quickly with, “But, Lord.”
She thought it was a stupid idea. I even think it’s an awful idea. I mean Lazarus had been in the grave for over half of the week. Dead bodies that sit for a few days don’t smell like roses.
But Jesus instructs Martha to do something seemingly foolish so that the glory of God could be revealed to her.
Have you ever had a “But, Lord” moment like Martha’s? A moment where you know God’s command was clear, but you still respond with “But, Lord”?
- God says, “Tithe 10% to your church.” You respond, “But, Lord, I’m still paying on several loans. Wait until I’m done first.”
- God says, “Wait until marriage for sex.” You respond, “But, Lord, we’re going to get married anyways. I’m tired of waiting.”
- God says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” You respond, “But, Lord, my neighbor always has all kinds of drama going on. I don’t want to get in the middle of that!”
- God says, “Love your kids.” You respond, “But, Lord, I’m so tired when I come home from work. And I’m already three weeks behind on my TV shows.”
I have many of these moments. Weekly. Daily. And so often I allow my “But, Lord” moments to stop me from looking stupid or foolish. At least, that’s what I think. What’s really happening is when God asks us to be obedient to what He says, it’s so that His glory may be revealed around us and to us.
When we allow our “But, Lord” moments to stand in the way of our obedience, we will miss out on the glory of God that He eagerly wants to reveal to us.
I would much rather say, “Yes, Lord” and maybe look a little foolish to the world around me but have the opportunity to witness the glory of God rather than saying, “But, Lord” and miss out on what God wants to work around me.
Martha didn’t allow her “But, Lord” moment to miss out on the glory of God. She responded in obedience to what Jesus said and witnessed one of the greatest miracles of God’s glory this world has ever seen.
Don’t allow your “But, Lord” moments hold you back from the glory of God that can be seen and experienced in your own life.
When God calls, we respond in obedience. He responds with His glory.
Don’t miss it.
Photo credit here.