“Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.
Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’
Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, ‘Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.'” (John 11:38-39)
Jesus came to the place where Lazarus was buried, and He asked them to take away the stone. Did they even believe it would really happen?
If they believed it would happen, they wouldn’t be making excuses for why they couldn’t move a stone. Surely, in the grand scheme of things, moving a stone isn’t such a big deal if it brings your brother back to life. But Martha reasoned with Jesus. He tried to solve the problem and she explained why it shouldn’t be done that way.
Hmm…this is beginning to sound a lot like this girl right here. We ask God to bless us, to help us, to guide us, but do we really believe it will happen? If we do, we must be ready to move- and not necessarily in the manner we desire. Change requires…well, change, and it’s normally uncomfortable. And it’s normally not welcome.
Jesus doesn’t magically transform us into holy saints. It takes place step by step. James says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) You take a step, and He takes a step. You take a leap, and He takes a leap. You run to Him, and He will run to meet you. Jesus wants to be in a relationship with you, and a healthy relationship is not one-sided. It’s cooperative. His blessing demands our cooperation.
If Mary and Martha wanted to see their brother raised from the dead, they needed to move the stone (John 11). Peter had to paddle deep and throw out his nets to get the catch he desired (Luke 5:4-6). One man had to stretch out his withered hand for it to be restored (Mark 3:1-6). The ten lepers had to show themselves to the priest in order to be cleansed (Luke 17:11-14). The waterpots needed to be filled with water before the contents were turned into wine (John 2:7). The blind man had to go and wash in Siloam that he might see (John 9:6-7).
The Lord wants to bless us, but are we doing our part? What is the stone that needs to be moved in your life? And what’s keeping you from moving?