Date: Wednesday, July 30
Scripture: John 11:23-44
Verse: When Mary arrived where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.” (John 11:32)
I remember hearing a speaker talk about the day he was jamming out to worship music while driving to work, celebrating the day God had given him, when red and blue flashing lights suddenly appeared in his rearview mirror. While he was enjoying the music, his foot got a little heavy, and he had been speeding. Not only that, the officer wasn’t in a particularly good mood, and wouldn’t let him off with a warning. He got a ticket — while worshiping. Shouldn’t there by some level of exemption from that?
That’s a pretty silly example, but many of us have felt as though God has let us down at some point. We prayed hard. We tried to do what was right. We believed with all our heart. Still things didn’t work out the way we thought they should. That seems to be what Mary is feeling. She has been a friend of Jesus. She believes in who he is. Yet when she needed him most, he wasn’t there. When she finally sees him, she lets it out, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.” That is some pretty gut-wrenchingly honest pain.
When I’m angry, I often shut down. I don’t want to talk about it, and sometimes avoid the person with whom I’m frustrated. I’m so glad Mary didn’t do that. She kept the communication open, even as she voiced her hurt. When you and I are struggling with God’s timing or decisions, we too need to keep talking to God, praying through our frustration, knowing he will meet us in our pain like he met Mary in hers.
Prayer: Forgive me, Lord Jesus, when my hurt makes me angry with you. Thank you for staying in touch through it all. Amen.
Action: Pray a prayer honestly bringing your frustrations before God.
Respond: How do you handle your anger? Do you vent or shut down? What do you think is the most productive?
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