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Disappointed in God

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Disappointment, Lenten Devotions

So [Martha] went and met [Jesus], but Mary remained seated in the house. … [Martha] went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’ And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to Him. … Mary … fell at His feet, saying to Him, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.’ … Jesus wept. … But some of them said, ‘Could not He who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?'”

(John 11:20, 28b-29, 32b, 25, 37 ESV)

I can’t help wondering why Mary stayed behind instead of going with her sister Martha to meet Jesus. Was she too upset to go? Was she angry and disappointed in Him?

After all, Mary loved Jesus with all her heart. She knew He could have saved her brother, even from far away. Small wonder if she’s upset with Him.

But Jesus welcomes her with all her feelings. He shares her grief. And He shares our grief, too, when someone we love dies—when something terrible like cancer comes into our lives—when a family or marriage breaks up.

It is okay for us to share our feelings with God, even the negative ones. He can cope with them. As long as we will allow Him, He will stay with us even in our grief and anger, and turn our situation to His own good will. After all, Jesus is the “Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3b) who lay down His life to save us all. And He will certainly raise us up from death, even if we can’t imagine it now—just as He Himself has risen and lives forever.

We Pray: Lord, when I am angry or upset with You, help me! Amen.

Reflection Questions:
* Have you ever been angry or upset with God?
* When?
* Why doesn’t Jesus reject us when we are upset with Him?

Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on March 1, 2024
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights