To the Girl with Passion & Conviction: Get Ready, It’s Go Time

I’d love to have coffee with Martha & Mary. Besides hearing about their fascinating conversations with Jesus, there’s something I’d like to ask them …

Concerned for their brother’s life, Martha & Mary send word to Jesus saying, “Lord, the one you love is sick” because surely Jesus would come and Lazarus would be healed. Surely.

But things don’t always happen the way we believe they should–and God’s love is magnified in greater ways than we can fathom.

Jesus purposefully delays His arrival–because sometimes what doesn’t make sense in temporal ways, makes sense in eternal ways.

When Jesus finally makes His way to the outskirts of Bethany, Martha hears He is near. She slips out of her home where many had come to comfort the sisters and went out to meet Him.

Martha says, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” How often do we tell the Lord what He already knows? But we should tell Him because although He knows our hearts, He wants to hear our hurts straight from our own lips.

That Whole “Martha/Mary” Thing…

It’s interesting that Martha was the one who left her guests to meet Jesus. We’ve met Martha & Mary before–in Luke 10. We learned Martha busied herself with hospitality while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet. This time, it was Martha who drew near.

In the Luke 10 account and in Martha’s defense, she was fulfilling the cultural expectations of Jewish customs. It was expected that women should tend to domestic responsibilities.

Mary ignored this custom by sitting at Jesus’ feet, and Jesus throws out customs and expectations to teach us that sitting at His feet is better than meal prep.

Of course, I’d probably be making Him a lasagne if He showed up at my house today, and hospitality is a beautiful thing, but it’s just not the best thing when compared to spending time with Jesus.

Why bake bread when you have the Bread of Life sitting in your living room?

Back to the Story–Jesus Calls for Mary

Perhaps Mary was too bereaved to leave the house. Perhaps Mary was too hurt that Jesus did not arrive sooner. We don’t know her thoughts, but we do know one of the sisters had to stay behind. In Jewish custom, the bereaved were to stay at home for a week after a loved one’s passing.

When Jesus calls for Mary, Martha journeys home to bring back her sister to Jesus.

That warms my heart like melted chocolate on a S‘mores because Jesus calls for us, too–by name. We are called to lay down what is customary to dwell in the midst of our Savior.

The Exact Same Words

Mary hurries to meet Jesus at that same spot, and says the exact same words Martha said: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

The sisters knew…

They knew Jesus could have healed Lazarus. It was no coincidence Martha and Mary said the exact same thing to Jesus and perhaps had the exact same thought…

Jesus, you’re too late. Where were you?

But Jesus is never too late.

He calls for the stone to be taken away and then calls Lazarus forth–and out walks a guy who’s been dead in a tomb for four days.

Martha & Mary may have known Jesus raised others from the dead, and Jesus had already said to Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life…,” but it’s not revealed whether they had hoped for such an event–or that it even crossed their minds.

Except maybe for that one thing Martha said to Jesus…

“But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

That might have been a slight hint of hope, but still, four days is a long time.

What would I ask Mary & Martha?

I’d ask them this:

“What was it like when Jesus requested the stone be taken away from that tomb? When did it sink in that Jesus wasn’t too late? That a miracle was about to take place?

How often do we trust our feelings over truth? How often do we believe the lie that waiting in the quiet means God is unaware of our circumstances?

One day we have this lush, flourishing faith–and the next our fears shear blooming faith back down to a seedling. Flesh is so annoying.

But we need not fear because God exceeds the expectations of our mustard seed faith every time.

In this passage, Jesus wept. He was deeply moved by their grief. He knew the outcome, but still, He wept. His compassions never fail and in the midst of our mess is His loving restoration.

Jesus meets us in our need and loves us from mess to restoration. Click To Tweet

What if We Believed in Fierce Possibilities?

It’s never going to happen, it’s too hard, it’s impossible …

What if we saw beyond the impossible and what if we allowed what moves us to move us?

I want to be that girl who walks in her calling with passion and conviction. I want to live out a fierce calling designed by an awesome God. Who’s with me?

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

What is a fierce calling? It’s living out our purpose with purpose. It’s impacting one life at a time while walking the path set before us. It’s discovering what God prepared in advance for us to do. And doing it.

It’s time to believe that dreams can happen when we’re wide awake, and our calling can be a fierce reality. We’re probably already walking in it if we’d only open our eyes to God’s possibilities.

Call to Action

Pray for God to open your eyes to His fierce possibilities in your life. What’s your calling, friend? You need not fear because you never walk in your calling alone. Joshua 1:9 tells us to be strong and courageous, because the Lord God is with us wherever we go. That’s everywhere. List the gifts and talents God has given you, and discover new ways and places to use them. If you’ve never completed a spiritual gifts assessment, I have a link to one below. Remember that no matter the outcome of the assessment, God may call you to accomplish things outside your gifting for His purposes. And He will equip you for the journey.

May I Pray for You?

Father in Heaven, I pray for my friend reading this prayer. I pray her eyes would be open to Your fierce possibilities in her life–and that she would draw strength and courage from You alone. I pray Your breath would breathe life into her lifeless circumstances and that You would fill her with joy in Your presence. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

Do you know what your spiritual gifts are? God has given believers at least one. It’s time to use your gifts to impact the world, friend…

Download this free Spiritual Gifts Assessment.

Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash


  1. Debbie Gallucci

    Wonderfully written work here, Doris. Jesus wanted Mary and Martha to wait. Upon hearing of Lazarus’ pending death, there was a purpose behind Jesus’ decision to wait and not come right away. If Jesus had come right away and healed his dear friend, this story would just not be the same. We wouldn’t have been given the beautiful words, “And Jesus wept.” The drama of the even would not have been the same. And so it is with our own seasons of “waiting”. Heavenly Father many times has us wait for what we want, what we desire, in order to ready us for it. When we think we know better, get impatient and rush things, we many time get into trouble, or miss something better. Waiting on God. Sounds easy but it’s not! I’m in a season of waiting. I am intentionally asking God to give me patience to wait for His timing on this. God’s timing will be better than mine, I know it! Thanks again, Doris.

    • Doris S. Swift

      So beautifully and perfectly said, Debbie! You are so right, waiting is not easy! But also as you said, we often want to settle when God has so much more if we would just patiently wait on Him. We will wait together for God’s plans to unfold and we continue to see the goodness of the Lord. Blessings & Love! Doris

  2. thoughtsongod49855570

    I enjoy your articles, this one in particular struck a chord! That word fierce! I like the sound as well as the meaning! I want Jesus to find me fiercely devoted to Him. The fierce calling on my life demands more. Deeper, stronger , more and more willing to share my faith.
    Great Word today. I was excited to hear another opinion of Mary/Martha. Thanks for sharing!

    • Doris S. Swift

      I appreciate you, Suzie, and your comments on the post. Yes, fierce is my word this year and Fierce Calling is the book I’m working on. Deeper, stronger, and more of Him! Amen! Thank you again for taking the time to read and comment, friend.

  3. thoughtsongod49855570

    This was a timely reminder for me. Ty for your Word! I love that you use the word fierce to describes calling. A life fiercely devoted to the Lord! That sounds very attractive!

    • Doris S. Swift

      Thank you, and it so blesses me that you love the word fierce to describe our calling. The book I’m currently working on is Fierce Calling, and I want to inspire and encourage women to walk in the fierce calling God has on their lives. We were made for community, for a purpose, and to use our gifts to impact the world. Blessings!

  4. Margaret May

    Love the imagery of God’s fierce calling upon my life. Sometimes my flesh wants to give up. God lovingly, and fiercely, helps me live to please Him.

    • Doris S. Swift

      Beautifully stated, friend! Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts: “God lovingly, and fiercely, helps me live to please Him.” Love that!

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