His feet rested next to mine on the stool between us as we sat in the quiet of our front porch.
I know the danger of not being in scripture when my heart is overwhelmed and so I have pressed in to the worn pages of my Bible. But in this space, I whispered to him, I didn’t know how to pray. I could read the Word, but to pour out my heart before the One Who created me?
It felt impossible.
I *had* prayed specifically, on my face and my knees on our bedroom floor, and He *had* provided words from a Psalm that both comforted and encouraged and I clung to them in full belief that He had heard and was answering and that the feeling of free-falling into nothing would end within the week.
And then it did. The answer we received was the answer I had believed Him for; was the one He seemed to promise.
But the next day?
The phone call came telling us that there had been a miscommunication. The rescue we had believed Him for wasn’t ours, and that free-fall that we found ourselves in, actually had no end in sight.
So, how do I pray?
There have been no words – not because I was angry or bitter, but because I can’t trust myself that I could even hear my Savior correctly.
In the middle of all this, I joined the #samepagesummer challenge, which entails reading through the whole New Testament in 90 days. We began in John and on the third day I opened the pages to John 11 – the grief of our ministry with Madison House ending making the words razor sharp.
Lazarus, the beloved brother, is sick. A message is sent to Jesus and the sisters wait in faith that their Friend will show up, will answer them and heal.
But their waiting stretches long and the sickness worsens, and instead of celebration, their hopes are wrapped in grave clothes and placed in the sealed dark.
When Jesus arrives, Martha rushes out to meet Him, but Mary, the one who only a few chapter earlier sat seated at the feet of her beloved Jesus? She stays where she is seated in her grief.
So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the houseJohn 11:20
Jesus calls for this grieving sister. And Martha, the one who is portrayed as the one who *does*, finds herself calling, again, for sitting Mary – not to chastise her, but to beckon her to come, once more, and be in the presence of Christ.
It isn’t impatience that motivates her this time, but faith – Jesus has just told her the truth:
I am the resurrection and the life. Whosever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?John 11:25-26
How can she not call her sister near?
If Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life, there is nothing that can be taken from us.J. Allen
So much is rapidly changing in our lives – and yet the waiting still persists. Jesus has opened doors for us that we never expected to be opened, but He has shown us only the immediate next steps.
I’ve never been one to wait well.
On the edges of now, there is still a free-fall…a call to trust Him to provide and lead, but only in His timing.
Grave clothes seem bound tightly right now, over the words Ministry and Home and Yakima and 4th Street. There are times I sit on our front porch with my Bible on my lap, unable to see clearly or understand why Jesus works in the ways that He does.
But, in the middle of John 11, in the middle of the chaos of a brother dying and the disciples questioning and the mourners mourning,
Jesus entered in.
If anything, I cling to this.
I don’t know what life will look like at the end of this coming year, in this season of trusting. I may continue to struggle with wondering whether I am hearing Him clearly in the quiet moments as we rest and regroup.
But what I do know, and what Scripture proves over and over?
Jesus will appear.
He won’t leave us or abandon us.
There is no place safer than at His feet.
Memorizing the words of Psalm 119 continually point me to the truth of the Gospel and the Good News of Jesus – me who has been far from blameless and so easily prone to wander. This heart that finds it so hard to rise when grief settles in deep…He hasn’t forgotten about us in the waiting.
These verses for Week 8 are Martha, beckoning me to rise and fix my eyes on His ways.
He will be found there, for He is my Hope.