Have you ever been in a situation that has left you thinking or maybe even saying, “This stinks!”? It’s so true. Some things that happen in our lives just stink. When the person we want to go to the dance with ends up going with someone else, that stinks. When we don’t make the team, that stinks. When our parents say, “no”, that stinks. When someone we love is hurting, that stinks. When a situation leaves us feeling hopeless and useless, that stinks.
In John 11, we see Mary and Martha mourning the death of their brother Lazarus. They basically told Jesus, “It really stinks that you weren’t here to heal him. Now it’s too late. Our brother is dead. That stinks!” As Jesus approaches the tomb and calls for it to be opened, Martha is beside herself, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” We see throughout this event that Martha’s trust in Jesus is solid. She knows He is her Lord and Savior, and yet she put limits on what Jesus is able to do. She believed it was too late for Jesus to do anything about her brother’s death. It was too stinky of a situation for Him to handle. Aren’t we like that, too? We get so focused on the stink, and sometimes wallow in it to the point that we fail to see the God who is able to do all things.
The death of their brother was painful. It was something Mary and Martha would have rather not had to endure. Wouldn’t it be easier if Jesus just spared us from all the things in life that stink? Wouldn’t you rather sail through days with ease–no problems, no worries, no stinky situations? Me too! In fact, that was God’s original plan and design. In the Garden of Eden before the eating of the forbidden fruit, life for Adam and Eve was without pain or stench. Life was good! Life was perfect! Unfortunately, sin did enter the world, and therefore we experience pain and difficulty. Fortunately, we have a God who loves us and does not leave us to drown in the stink. In John 16:33 Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” No matter what you are facing, Jesus walks with you in even the smelliest of circumstances. And, He shows us again and again that He has overcome. His life, death and resurrection bring us new life. He has overcome the stink. Praise be to God!
Prayer: Thank you Jesus for stepping into the stink of our lives, and for loving us through it all. Help us by your Holy Spirit to see You clearly as we endure the challenges that come to us. Help us to trust in You in all things. In Your Name. Amen.