Most of the time, I meet life's challenges with Martha-faith. Martha-faith isn't bad -- she knew that if Jesus had been there, her brother Lazarus would not have died; Martha even believed that Jesus was "the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world" (John 11:21, 27). Martha knew that her brother would rise again at the resurrection on the last day, and she believed that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. So far, so good.
But Martha did not believe that Jesus could or would be able to help her today with her immediate problem -- her dead brother. Jesus threatened to make things worse by commanding the stone to be removed from Lazarus's tomb: after being dead for four days, Lazarus's body would smell really bad. Martha didn't want her brother back dead! Why in the world was Jesus going there?
So too, I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; he is the resurrection and the life; he has conquered death through his death and "everyone who lives and believes in [him] shall never die" (11:26). But I naturally lack faith to believe that he is bringing new life today into dead things. Some days I wake up eagerly anticipating what God will bring into my life that day; other days, I wake up thinking that the day will be no more than one mind-numbing task after another. On the latter days, I have to force myself to remember that the resurrection power of God is present today no matter what I am doing. I am finding that God will give me this faith if I will receive it. If I will trust Jesus for today, then I am willing to go with him as he opens tombs -- perhaps showing me my hardness of heart in a relationship, or a bad attitude -- and it is a joyful thing to see him do little things each day that show his presence and power. Life becomes an adventure.
When Martha objected to the tomb being opened, Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?" (11:40). If I will only give up my own ideas of what Jesus can't or won't do today, their removal allows the glory of God to become visible now.