This morning, I was feeling so discouraged…about so many things.
I felt the urging of the Lord…”Come to me, I have something to say to you.”
And so I opened up my She Reads Truth app and read the story of Mary of Bethany.
She was Lazarus’ sister…she was so upset about her brother’s death that she couldn’t even run out to meet Jesus. She was paralyzed with sorrow. She could not even. Have you been there? When you can’t even rise up and face the thing that you know will bring comfort?
She was the same one who dumped out her bottle of oil and cleaned his feet with her hair and her tears.
I think maybe Mary of Bethany was a passionate woman of extremes. I know someone like that.
In case you didn’t realize.
Some days, I just can’t even…and some days, I want to pour out all I am and all I have for Jesus and for the ones I love. Some days…all I can really do is just take one step. Maybe a half a step. Maybe just a breath- Abba Father, I belong to you.
That was Mary.
There was a time when she was so discouraged and weary that all she could do was make that one step. And then there was a time when she poured out all she had and subjected herself to ridicule and even rebuke for her all out, authentic, scandalous love for her Jesus.
Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you,[b] and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.
She did what she could.
What Mary could do was pour out her heart. And when Mary’s brother died, all she could do was seek the comfort of Jesus. And she could barely do that.
But she did what she could.
This struck me so hard. Because I have these hard days where it seems that our problems, complications and issues are a wound tight ball of twine and there is no way to unravel it…where pain seeps into my bones and weariness covers me like a shroud. There are days when I long for my little gal in Bulgaria to just get home already and when I feel like there is literally no way we are going to pull this thing off.
I can’t. Some days, I just can’t. I am too weak, too weary, too tired, too achy, too poor, too disorganized…too fill in the blank. Too not enough…
I reach a feeble hand to Jesus and I do what I can.
I write the words in my Bible. I think about the poor widow her gave her one last coin.
She did what she could.
Lord, help me live that way. Help me live, doing what I can…which some days will be so much and some days be so little. He sees me heart and He knows when I have done what I can and when I haven’t.
And the best part…in my weakness, He is so strong.
After Lazarus had died, after four days in the tomb…he met Mary and her friends and saw their grief. He was that they were weeping and filled with sorrow.
Matthew 11:33 says this: “he was deeply moved in His spirit and troubled.”
Was he troubled that Lazarus died? Presumably not…He knew then as he knows now that he is the author of life. He could easily and would easily raise Lazarus from death. I think He was moved that his loved ones were hurting and grieving. He was feeling their pain with them and He was standing with them in it. Sharing strength.
This is how Jesus is. He does not promise to make everything okay…but He does promise to not leave us alone to handle it ourselves. Sometimes, what we can is feeble and so small…but what he can…it is always enough.