Saturday, April 23, 2011

That Thing Women Do

Part five in the story series, "Second-Guessing God's Goodness ..."

Women, you know the drill.

Something bad happens, and what's the first thing we do about it?

If you're like me, you pick up the phone, or you hit an Instant Message app, and you TALK. And you talk. And you talk. And you talk.

You analyze. You project. You decipher. You look for motives. You look for reasons. You look at behaviors. You examine yourself. You look for validity. You seek approval.

Now if the situation is really bad -- catastrophic, even -- what do you do?

You cry. You pass tissues. You hug. You console. You bemoan.

In short ... you don't let this thing go, and you'll talk to anyone -- ANYONE -- to understand what just happened in order to make yourself feel better about it.

Usually, if you're in a group of women, you'll hear everyone parrot the same phrases to you after a while. Before you know it, the entire group of gabbers has come to their save-the-friend conclusions, and everyone feels the same way about it, and everyone is giving the same assessment, and everyone is self-congratulating about how they each figured it out.

Now let's check out Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, Jesus's good friend who got sick and died.

They send word for Jesus to come. Jesus doesn't come. Lazarus dies.

Then Jesus shows up.

What each of them says to Jesus -- individually, and NOT in each other's hearing -- is really quite fascinating and telling.


John 11:21:

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died."

OK. That was Martha. Now here comes Mary:

John 11:32

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (italics, mine.)

Do you see a PATTERN here?

I wasn't there, but this is my take on it:

Isn't it interesting how both of those women were together at their house with "concerned" friends, waiting for Jesus, and each of them, independently, says the EXACT SAME THING to Him when they first see Him?

The words are exactly the same!

Have you ever been in a situation where you're questioning God's goodness or reasons for something, and it becomes a group discussion? If you're a woman, what do you think happens? I'll tell you what has happened in my personal experiences:

The doubters have very loud voices. And they are extremely convincing. Think about it. Mary and Martha are Jesus's good friends! But the first thing out of their mouths -- is the exact statement of doubt!

What was going on in their house?

We know they were surrounded by the religious leaders of the day, who had supposedly shown up to comfort them. Isn't it interesting how those same people were Jesus's enemies? And isn't it also interesting that by the time the sisters had a chance to talk to Jesus, their words to Him were words of accusation?

How often do you do this?

How often, in situations of crisis, do you consult others and come away feeling like God let you down?

I'm going to tell you something very plainly: The Person you need to be going to ... is God. Yes, it's fine for us to get support and prayer from other believers. But be careful. When your heart is in a vulnerable state, that window of opportunity arises for doubt to grab it in a vise. Before you know it, you're forgetting all of the good things God has done for you in the past.

And your words to Him are ... "If you had been here, this wouldn't have happened."

God is there.

God is with you.

God cares that you're crying.

And in part 6 of the tale, you'll see just how much Jesus cared about His friends. Tune in.

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