Martha’s heart sank and her stomach churned at Mary’s response to her good news. But she wasn’t surprised. Mary had given up hope when Lazarus drew his last breath. Her waiting ended with the death of her brother. Martha hadn’t completed her waiting. She knew that when the Master came things would be better. She had no intention of letting Mary’s attitude have an affect on her hope in Him. Straightening her form, Martha stood tall and headed down the path out of the village. The familiar form of Jesus came into view as they each neared the place where the body of Lazarus lay. As her heart rapidly pounded within her, Martha quickened her steps toward Jesus and fell at His feet. Then looking up, her eyes saw the compassion expressed on His face. “Oh, Lord!” Her voice quivering. “If you had been here, Lazarus would not have died.” Jesus looked steadily and calmly at her. Waiting.
Trembling, Martha continued. “But I know that even now, God will give you whatever you ask.”
Martha had waited and was blessed. Her waiting was over. Filled with joy she ran to get Mary. “The Teacher is here and is asking for you.” Mary was waiting. She ran to Jesus, as had her sister, and falling before Him cried, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother would not have died.” She expressed the same words that Martha had; yet without the expression of faith her sister had. The wailing of Mary and those who had gathered at the tomb aroused a strong emotional reaction in the Savior. Jesus wept.
Then Jesus called to the grave and Lazarus came out. Mary was overcome with joy, only to be followed by feelings of great shame at her lack of faith.
Mary had wanted Jesus to act according to her expectations. She felt that Jesus had failed her which exacerbated her grief. During the illness of Lazarus, she had waited steadfast, believing the Great Healer would come and raise her brother from his sick bed. Perhaps she had been prideful of her devotion and faith in the Lord. When he didn’t come, she felt like He had betrayed her, and her heart was shattered.
In our times of waiting on answers, maybe we sometimes have some feelings of betrayal when the answers don’t come in the way we are wanting them to or as soon as we think they should come. We must be careful to guard against confusing our expectations with our faith and wait for His answer.