Lazarus had been dead for 4 days. Jesus hadn’t come in time to heal him and Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, were devastated that he was gone. What a difficult time for them it must have been. They knew and believed that Jesus is the Son of God and that He had healed and could heal again. Yet, He didn’t get there in time to heal their brother.
As Jesus came to the tomb, He told Martha and the gathering crowd to open the tomb up. Practical Martha’s reply?! “Lord, he’s been dead four days. He’s gonna stink!”
“Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’” –John 11:40
He didn’t address the problem of the smell that would come from the tomb. He didn’t tell everyone to hold their nose and not gag. He wasn’t worried about grossing out Martha. He wasn’t focused on practical problems. He was focused on the eternal one.
How often do we hear someone say they need to clean up their act before they get saved and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Maybe we’ve thought about how far off we’ve strayed from God’s path and we feel there’s something we need to do before we can come to God and ask for forgiveness. Often, we see it as a sensible step…God doesn’t want to see our mistakes. He must want us shiny and new. He wants us to see real progress before we can come to the throne of grace. But none of those thought processes are even close to the truth.
Jesus isn’t worried about what we perceive as a solution to how He best sees us. He’s focused on the eternal issue at hand…do you believe? He’s not looking for the dance that leads up to showing your best self. He’s wanting you to come to Him, stink and all!
When we accept and believe, at that point, we can give the practical issues to Him so that HE can work through us to fix it. It gives Him the honor and glory. It shows the world that we aren’t meant to work out those things on our own, rather with God’s help.
I pray that if there’s something that’s keeping you from God, you turn to Him anyway. Don’t worry about those “practical” problems. He’s focused on the eternal solution.