“But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” – John 11:22
Martha got a bum rep to some degree. This is so much so that one can easily find Christian writings on topics such as the “Martha syndrome” or hear sermons on how to not be “a Martha.” She is notoriously remembered for being detailed-fixated, busy, bossy, and self-pity prone. And all of this seems to be generalized from a snapshot of her life. Ironically, many who critique Martha for over-focusing on the wrong thing may be doing just that when they look at her life. While she surely had her faults (like the rest of us!) as evidenced in Luke 10, her demonstrated faith in John 11 is often overlooked.
When Jesus arrived at Bethany, Martha and Mary’s brother Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. Upon hearing that Jesus had arrived, Martha went to Him and stated something that even her sister, Mary, said to Jesus upon seeing Him shortly thereafter: “If you had been here my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). Albeit mixed with a rebuke, her statement also clearly evidenced faith – and that’s not all that she said. Martha’s subsequent words are reflective of her maturing faith as she told Christ that “even now… God will give you whatever you ask” (vs. 22). Her faith was in the process of being stretched to a new level. Isn’t God doing the same thing with us? I know that He is doing that in me; I hope He never stops!
So what is your “even now?” What is dead and needs resurrecting in your life or in the life of a loved one? What new sphere of life is your faith being stretched or tested in: finances, health, work, relationships, or something else?
Whatever it is, may we be real with the Lord like Martha was, knowing that He meets us where we really are – not where we pretend to be, as God only works in the realm of truth. Yet let us not end there because we too know that even now God will give us whatever we ask in Christ’s name and according to the Father’s good, pleasing, and perfect will. Remember Christ’s response to the burdened father of Mark 9 who exclaimed “I believe, yet help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24): “All things are possible to him who believes”!
Melissa Smith is the Women’s Enrich Counselor at America’s Keswick. She has the privilege and honor of ministering to the Colony men’s wives, fiancées and girlfriends, the Barbara’s Place women, and some women from the community who God brings to America’s Keswick for help or care. She and Bill, her husband of 18 years, have four adopted children ages 17 to 24. Her fervent desire is to point women to Christ and His sufficiency, provision, and promises.