Today’s Scripture: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. John 11:19‑21
Mary and Martha. When we hear those names, we tend to think of John chapter 12, where Mary sits and learns at Jesus’ feet while Martha’s cumbered about with much serving. Martha allowed herself to become frantically busy, and she forgot to fellowship with Jesus Christ. This singular event has come to define our view of Martha’s life.
If you ask me, I’d say that Martha has an unfair reputation. Yes, she struggled in one area of her life. However, in the preceding chapter, you find Martha doing the right thing in the face of a difficult situation. Following the death of Lazarus, Mary and Martha were understandably grieved and upset. They were struggling to understand why Jesus would allow Lazarus to die.
Mary allowed her grief to separate her from Jesus. When Jesus Christ arrived, she sat still in the house. But Martha persevered in her relationship with Jesus despite her lack of understanding and her tumultuous feelings. Was she hurting? Absolutely. However, Martha didn’t allow her hurt to drive a wedge between her and the Savior. In fact, it led her to reaffirm her faith in Jesus Christ and recognize Him as the Son of God.
Not only did Martha maintain her relationship with God, but she also took the time to benefit other people. Martha understood that Mary’s distance from Christ would be a hindrance. Martha encouraged Mary to see Jesus and, as a result, helped restore their relationship.
Looking at this passage gives us another side of Martha, doesn’t it? It also teaches us a valuable lesson. Just because we’ve struggled in one area of our life doesn’t mean that we’re forever doomed to failure. Martha was human, just as we are. Sometimes she succeeded in the face of trials, and sometimes she failed. However, God had a plan to refine Martha and teach her to overcome those failures – just as God has a plan to refine us and remove our weaknesses.
Christian, don’t lose hope. One failure doesn’t mean God will never use you. Submit yourself to God. Allow Him to refine and remake you. Then you’ll find success and satisfaction in life.
Devotional by Pastor C.J. Armstrong