Stream Our Service

Lenten Reflections Project 2022

Wednesday | April 6 | Charity Scott

John 11:17-27

Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
There have been many times in my life where I have felt like Mary and Martha. You know, loving Jesus but also a little caught up in life. I went through a season a few years ago where I lived with chronic anxiety and fear for a long period of time. The kind of anxiety where you feel like you might be dying, or worse – someone you love is dying. The thing about chronic, clinical anxiety is that it can take away what’s real. The amygdala, which is the emotion center of the brain, is lit up all the time, and the pre-frontal cortex, which is the logic and language center of the brain, kind of goes offline. In other words, you are in a near-constant state of fight, flight, or freeze, and logic and reasoning are unavailable. When you love Jesus and live with anxiety, you may find like I did that prayer – our conversation with God – looks a little different. I spent a lot of time screaming at God in that season, kind of like I imagine Martha did as she went out to meet Jesus. Brokenhearted and grieving, I think Martha might have been hurling her worst at her friend. At her God. I know I have given God my worst. But you know, He can handle it. He is interested in the authentic me, and pursues me in love, even at my worst.

            Even when we are in agony, God is faithful to us. Not because of what we have done, but because of what He has done. He relieved Mary and Martha’s pain, even after Martha accused Jesus of abandoning them. She hangs on by a thread – that mustard seed faith – and he grabs her right back, giving her assurances of his love and promise. This Lent, I’m overwhelmed at the ways that God has made good on his promises to me. The promises he gave me in the middle of my dark. That ugly place of desperation. If you find yourself in the dark, fighting, fleeing, or freezing like me, I offer you my hard-won hope and truth that God is faithful. He is good light in a terrible dark place and honors the prayers that are uttered (or screamed) from our pain. He restores what has been lost, just like he restored Lazarus. And he reminds us that he is the Christ, the one we have been waiting for. Come Lord Jesus, come.

Charity Scott