So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
We all have excuses, don’t we? We all think that we know better than anyone else. This certainly appears to be Mary’s problem. She was the sister of Lazarus, a friend of Jesus. Her brother had been dead four days by the time Jesus arrived on the scene. All the Lord asked her to do was to remove the stone from the tomb. It was a simple request, but not so easy for Mary to understand. I find that this is where so many of us falter when trying to follow Christ. He commands us to do something and we refuse because we cannot grasp the logic behind His instruction.
I wonder how many Christians who “haven’t been able to hear from God lately” are simply not submitting to what they do hear. What’s the Lord been saying to you recently? Is there a sticking point between you and your heavenly Father? I have often placed myself in the same situation as Mary. Christ commands me to do something that I just can’t comprehend. Excuses are so easy to come up with. Mary was asked to remove the stone from the tomb. How was she to know that Jesus would momentarily raise Lazarus from the dead? She was too interested in her own understanding of the situation rather than trusting in the Lord’s understanding. “Lord, by this time there will be a stench…” Little did she know!
1 Corinthians 2:16 says, “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him?” We must never forget this biblical truth. God’s ways are much higher than our own. When we make attempts to persuade the Lord against something that He has asked us to do, we risk missing out on unthinkable blessings. Following Mary’s response to Jesus, He said, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” Upon hearing this, Mary allowed the tomb to be opened and her brother was consequently raised from the dead. I pray that you would follow the example of Mary. Have you been complaining to the Lord about the possible “stenches” involved in following His will for your life? I highly recommend that you stop offering excuses and simply obey His command. You may be that close to unthinkable blessings in your life.