Have you ever been praying for something or someone to change, only to finally realize that you are the obstacle preventing the change? You realize that the whole time it was you that needed to get out of the way so God could have His way.
In his gospel account, the Disciple John tells us an awesome story. After hearing of Lazarus’ serious illness, Jesus travels to Bethany to see His dear friend and his sisters, Martha and Mary. But by the time Jesus and His disciples arrive, Lazarus has been dead and buried for four days. There are many Jews there comforting his sisters. When Jesus arrives Martha runs out to meet Him. In her pain she wants to know where He was. He could have saved her brother; but, even so, she trusts the One she knows has the will of God in His hands.
Have you ever been there? I have. It’s humbling to ask God where He was, while you know that His Will supersedes anything your mind could ever conjure up.
Jesus tells her that He is the Resurrection and the Life. He asks her if she believes that whoever lives and believes in Him will never die and Martha says, ‘yes.’ She tells Jesus that she knows He is the Christ and then runs to get Mary.
Mary comes and falls at His feet. The sisters are crying. The friends are crying. His own disciples wondered why Jesus took so long to get there. No one understands. Nobody really ‘gets it.’
Jesus cries too. The King of the World is deeply moved as He asks for the stone to be rolled away. But just as I have done so many times, Martha says, (in my words), ‘Are you sure, Lord? It’s really gonna stink in there. If you open this up, there’s no going back! Do you want to uncover the ugly death that lies behind that stone?’ And just like He always does, Jesus tells her to believe and let Him show her His glory.
The stone gets rolled away. I don’t know if Martha gave a nod, a word or if Jesus just knew her heart; the Bible doesn’t tell us, but she agreed to let Him roll the stone away that covered her greatest pain. That’s when Jesus and His Father called out for the dead to come to life. That’s when the miracle happened. Lazarus got new life. The Jews who had gathered there got a shock. Martha and Mary got their brother back. But maybe the coolest part of this story is the gift the disciples received. Jesus had tried to explain to them what was coming. How could they understand? What does it mean to be the bread of life? The Way, the Truth, and the Life? The Light of the world? What did He mean when He said that He would lay down His life? Perhaps their ‘stone’ was just their own knowledge and simple reasoning. Sometimes nothing He said made sense to them.
‘Let Me roll the stone away, Martha. Let Me show you new life. Let Me show you My resurrection power.’
So, here’s the question. What stone do you need to let Jesus roll away? What obstacle is standing between you and a miracle? What fears are blocking the work of God in your life?
Give it to Him. Let Him roll the stone away. See the miracle not just in your life, but in the lives of those around you. Jesus calls. And He is able. Step aside and see His Glory. Be blessed.