Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. — John 11:39
There’s an old saying that I have heard so many times in my life when something does not go as well as it could. It’s not uncommon for someone to say, “that stinks.” This is not talking about the odors that we may smell, but truly something that we experience in life that just is not ideal.
Perhaps it was a promotion at a job that did not come through. Perhaps it was a sickness and you were planning for medicine to get you back on your feet quickly. I have heard people say this when they were attempting to accomplish something like running a marathon and failed to break their goal. Sometimes the things that stink in our life can be far worse than these.
Take for example the situation of Martha and the friends of Lazarus. They knew that if Jesus had been there when Lazarus was sick that He could have prevented Lazarus from dying. But Jesus did not come through that area for four days. Martha was upset. The situation had her obviously frustrated as she expressed that to Jesus and it was a situation that had a literal and physical stink to it.
Have you ever found yourself frustrated with situations in life to the point it just stinks? You wanted God to do something for you and He didn’t or He delayed as He did here in John 11. Those experiences can sometimes “stink” for a Christian. We can grow frustrated and angry at God for not handling the situation exactly as we wanted or planned.
Just because God does not handle the situation immediately does not mean He is not interested. It does not mean that He does not care about your situation or circumstance. Sometimes God has a bigger and a better plan in life for us, even though we cannot see it.
Martha and those around Lazarus thought that Lazarus was gone and they were blaming Jesus. They believed that Jesus had let them down. After all, they told Him if He had simply been there Lazarus would not have died. Just like them, we know that God is able to change our situation and circumstance. Many times we grow frustrated when He doesn’t.
They didn’t realize that Jesus was doing something bigger in their situation. They did not realize that He was going to manifest His power in a much greater way. When things stink, it is not always the end of the situation. Sometimes God simply wants to put us into that situation so He can show us something greater. While it is easy to get frustrated when things stink, do not lose hope or faith!