Last week Hurricane Isaias’ path went through the state of Delaware. Although Isaias was downgraded to a tropical system by the time it struck Delaware, this storm spawned a record breaking tornado. Leaving a path of destruction for more than 29 miles, I left for work on Tuesday unaware of what I would face. While my commute normally takes a little over 30 minutes, a closed bridge and 3 other detours led to a 90 minute ordeal.
Now Jesus, again sighing repeatedly and deeply disquieted, approached the tomb. It was a cave (a hole in the rock), and a boulder lay against [the entrance to close] it. 39 Jesus said, Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of the dead man, exclaimed, But Lord, by this time he [is decaying and] throws off an offensive odor, for he has been dead four days! – John 11:38-39
At one point when I realized I would be a minimum of 30 minutes late, I thought about turning around to go home. Yet, with my co-worker on vacation, I pressed on. Since all the traffic lights in Middletown were out, police officers were directing traffic, unable to warn drivers of less traveled roads also blocked by fallen trees. Since my only other option was backed up for several miles, I drove 10 miles out of the way to finally arrive.
Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God? 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 Yes, I know You always hear and listen to Me, but I have said this on account of and for the benefit of the people standing around, so that they may believe that You did send Me [that You have made Me Your Messenger], John 11:40-42.
In the passage above, Jesus is consoling two sisters whose brother Lazarus passed away. Angry at Jesus for not arriving earlier to heal her brother, Martha’s faith is wavering. During a prior visit, Jesus said that these women would see the glory of God. Lazarus’ death served as a boulder, blocking Martha’s path of faith. Unable to remove this stone by herself, Martha gathered family and friends so that Jesus could enter Lazarus’ tomb. Before this day was over, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, opening Martha’s eyes to the possibilities when faith is not blocked. May this story inspire you to remove any stone currently blocking your path to belief.
by Jay Mankus