Today we are truly blessed to feature the perspective of Lottie Brooke, of Lottiebrooke.com (which, in her own words, is a place of "encouragement," "hope" and one "that [she hopes] you leave feeling a little bit stronger in this journey"). Read on as she discusses Mary of Bethany, why she is her favourite woman of the Bible and what we, as modern women, stand to learn from her.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE WOMAN OF THE BIBLE AND WHY? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY THAT MODERN WOMEN CAN LEARN FROM HER?
The first woman that pops into my mind is Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. The part of her testimony that gets me every time is when she was mourning the loss of her brother, Lazarus. Jesus arrived on the scene a few days later and, upon hearing that Jesus was finally there, the Bible says she immediately got up and went out from her house to meet Him.
When I read this part of the Bible, I can’t help but put myself in her shoes; this man, Lazarus’ friend, who she believed could heal any sickness or disease, never showed. Or at least, He didn’t show up in time. And now He’s here to grieve and give his condolences? I would run to him, too, but not out of joyful excitement to see him, rather, to give him a piece of my mind!
I imagine her running out to him- heart pounding, questions swirling, ready to give him "the third degree" as to why He never showed. But when she gets to him, none of those questions spill out. Instead, as she looks squarely at Jesus, the only words she can say before breaking down in utter agony are “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32). Mary weeps before Jesus. She knows full well at this point what Jesus is capable of. She knows He could have healed her brother. But for some reason He didn’t, and all she can do is be real with her Savior and weep before Him. The pain is real. It cuts deep; so she weeps.
I can’t help but get emotional when I picture this story in my mind. Most of us know how the story ends. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and many came to believe in Him because of it. He knew what was going to happen the whole time. He had a plan for Lazarus. It was for the good of those people and to ultimately bring glory to God. But He also wept along with the people in the midst of their pain and confusion. He met them in their sorrow. He loved Mary and Martha through one of the darkest days of their lives.
God has done this for me many times. He has seen me through some dark days, including a battle with an autoimmune disorder that culminated in the removal my entire colon. I didn’t understand any of it at the time. I spent endless days sobbing and expressing my frustrations to Jesus. But I know with certainty that Jesus met me there; on the hospital bed, on the surgery table, in the midst of my sorrow. He knew it was for my good and God would be glorified through it. He knew it would all end up okay, even if I didn’t. He empathised with my pain and He was close to me during the worst time of my life. Just like He was with Mary.
I think it’s important for women, or anyone really, to remember that Jesus never leaves us. Life has a way of making us feel like He’s abandoned us. But just like with Mary, He shows up at the right time, comforts us in our sorrows, and empathises with our pain. His ways are always greater than ours and, even if we don’t understand right now, we can rest assured that He’s got everything under control. It’s for our good and God’s glory.
PLEASE FINISH THE SENTENCE: I AM A CHRISTIAN WOMAN WHO IS…
I am a Christian woman who is learning what it means to truly trust God in every moment of every day.
PLEASE FINISH THE SENTENCE: I AM A CHRISTIAN WOMAN WHO IS NOT…
I am a Christian woman who is not chained to fear.
ANY FINAL WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT?
When you’re hurting and you don’t understand, don’t let yourself hide away from God. Draw near to him because he’s drawing near to you.