This issue of Melody without Measure written by Jaquita Lindsey
We are all familiar with the story of Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. You can read it in John chapter 11. Lazarus, who Jesus loves (v3), is ill. His sisters send for Jesus, knowing that he can heal Lazarus. Instead of leaving immediately for Bethany, Jesus intentionally stays put for another two days. Lazarus passes away, leaving behind a grieving family and some questions of Jesus’ whereabouts in the situation.
Jesus meets the two sisters separately, four days later, as he nears town, meeting Martha first. We already know how outspoken she can be (read Luke 10:38-42), as she scolds Jesus for being late. Verse 21: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” I imagine that to sound more like, “If You had come the first time I called, my brother would still be alive and I wouldn’t be going through this right now!” She tells Jesus she knows he can still fix this, yet objects in verse 39 when he tells the guys to “take away the stone” from the opening of the tomb. Like, girl, make up your mind what you want!
Mary’s approach to Jesus is quite different than her sister’s. She has been grieving at home when Martha tells her, “Jesus is looking for you.” In her broken state, she sprints in the direction of Jesus, falls down at his feet and says the exact words in verse 32 that Martha said in verse 21 about his delay. The difference is the heart behind it. How do I know? Mary’s plea troubled Jesus to the point of tears (verses 33-35).
A few weeks ago, I stood on the stage listening to our lead vocalist recall this story leading into a song. I had secretly been dealing with feelings, some of which I was too embarrassed to tell even my closest people.
As Katy said last week, people like to flaunt their “highlight reel” on social media. Watching those, amplified the lies of which the devil was trying to convince me. My personality changed, from the one who encouraged others and made everyone laugh, to this withdrawn person who hated life.
I would cry bitterly when no one was watching, acknowledging my faults and almost demanding that God help me out of the hole I was sinking in. When life got worse instead of better, I started putting up a guard towards God.
“You are working in everyone else’s life, so why not mine? I know I have done wrong in the past but so has everyone else…”
“Everyone else is getting what they want in life, why can’t I?”
“Lord, why won’t you heal me of these feelings already?! Why am I affected by all this and the person who offended me is not?!”
I prided myself that I had mastered a smile to mask what was killing me on the inside. I would be completely exhausted at the end of the night from hiding what was wreaking havoc on my heart.
But that night, I heard Jesus speak: “You’ve treated me like I’m four days late.”
Wait, what? No, Jesus, that’s not true. I trust You (or at least I say I do from my lips). The thought made me tear up!
“No, your actions are treating me like I’m four days late working in your life.”
I realized that I had the heart of Martha, demanding that God do what I thought he should be doing. God has a timetable and he’s sovereign enough not to consult with us first! We all should have the heart of Mary, humbly broken as we seek the Lord for his presence.
What if the only way God can get you to communicate with him is to remove whoever, leave whatever, or fix it whenever He sees fit?
The weight holding you down may look different from mine but the feeling is the same. And, so is the healing! Lazarus’ name means “God is my help.” That being the case, do you really think God wasn’t going to send help?
If he did it for Lazarus, he will rescue you from what’s “killing” you as well.
No person of the opposite sex, no how-to book, no new house or car, nor a job promotion will call the death out of you like the voice of Jesus will.
Instead of focusing on the answers, focus on the one giving the answer.
Life is like a melody, with highs and lows and everything in between. But what’s a melody without harmony, touching lyrics, and beautiful orchestrations? Katy, Ashley, and Jaquita have a desire to be that kind of support, encouraging and inspiring all who read to find the sweet melody in the chaos.
Jaquita Lindsey grew up in Camden, Arkansas, where music and ministry have always been a major part of her life, from singing in choir at school and church, to singing and playing drums with local groups. In January of 2014, she joined the Southern gospel trio, 11th Hour. Ministry is beyond the edge of the stage for her. “While songs and messages are an amazing source of encouragement for me, it goes beyond that during hard times of life. Nothing ministers to me more than having a friend tell me they’ve prayerfully had me on their heart. God can use us to build up each other.”
Ashley Easley began singing at the age of four, in her home church in Heflin, Alabama. That day, music became her first love, until several years later when she met Jesus. She began traveling at the age of 15 and has always loved the ministry. In 2007, she met Josh Franks, and one year later they were married. The two have been married almost 12 years and have two children: Priscilla, eight, and Eli, five. The Franks family continues to travel week to week and sing, but every Sunday and Wednesday you will find them on Airways Boulevard in Savannah, Tennessee, where Josh is the Senior Pastor at People’s Tabernacle Church.
Katy Peach, as a young girl from Columbus, Ohio, had big dreams of traveling the country on a bus, singing Southern gospel music. She was extremely blessed to have done just that for many years. But shortly after the arrival of twin boys, Clayton and Shelton, Katy’s dream changed to that of a mother whose desire was for her children to have a normal life. Although Katy can still be found in the studio on occasion, she now works in banking, while her husband, Troy Peach, of The Perrys, continues to travel full-time. “I have certainly learned over the years that you don’t have to be on stage to be used by God and although I miss traveling and singing at times, I’m thankful for opportunities to minister and encourage from home.”
SGNScoops is thrilled to welcome the talented trio of Melody without Measure to their host of elite writers. Be sure to check out their website for more from the wise pens of these lovely ladies HERE
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