I had a friend in college who hardly ever washed his socks.
Overall he was a clean fellow but he wore his socks so long that he could stand them in the corner when he took them off instead of laying them on the floor (slight exaggeration).
Now, before you criticize, remember that we were young men between women. We had left our mothers behind and we hadn’t yet found our wives.
So obviously, there was no one to wash our clothes. Obviously.
(I see you, young ladies, there in front of your computer screen. Angry smoke is puffing out of your ears. “Why should they expect their mothers or wives to wash their clothes? They should do it themselves!” I love it!)
Anyway, chauvinism aside, you could get away with stinky socks as long as you kept your shoes on. In the dorm room at night, though, no luck for your roommate. Since a lot of us were in the same fix, the smell of one pair of feet might have canceled out the smell of the other pair of feet.
Of course, if the smells got together the results were devastating.
The general rule is that you keep bad smells bottled up with shoes or whatever,or you spray on a stronger, pleasant smell to mask the nasty smell. Think about that, though. If the “pleasant” smell is strong enough to subdue a bad smell, it’s very strength may get unpleasant.
Martha’s Stinky Problem
Martha had a similar problem. Her brother Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days and in the hot climate of their Middle Eastern village, he was doing some serious stinking. Not to worry, though, because there was a big stone over the entry to the burial place stopping any offending odors from slipping out.
Then Jesus challenged her faith and told her to roll the stone away. Mary’s standing in the community was in danger if she did it and Jesus didn’t come through. People would think she was as crazy as some people thought the Lord was.
But she risked exposing the family stink and Jesus did a powerful miracle. Lazarus came out of the tomb, presumably smelling like a rose.
“What does this have to do with me?” you think.
Most of us have areas in our lives that we’ve walled off from others—and even God.
–Questions that have no answer and anger against God because he didn’t respond to a prayer the way we thought He should.
–Frustration at unreached goals. You define yourself by what you accomplish and you feel your accomplishments are stinky small compared to others.
–Pain, hurt, rejection, abuse. A divorcee says, “Never again will I hurt like that,” so she builds a wall to keep out the pain. But, she keeps out people who want to love her, too. She hides the stink, but the hurt is still there.
–Shame because you feel you don’t live up to what God (or daddy) expects from you.
–the self-devaluating fear of being less than others.
–whatever your stinky thing is, hidden behind that gravestone where you stashed it.
We think that putting it in the grave will stop the pain and the influence it has on our life. But it stinks all the more.
“Roll away the stone!”
And we shudder, “But it stinks Lord.”
He answers, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”
So what about it? Do you want that dead, stinking thing in your life healed?
Bring it to Jesus. Admit that you can’t get rid of it but believe that He will. Pour your heart out to Him. Tell Him about it—even the anger and frustration. He will show you His glory.
Get help. I don’t think Martha pushed that heavy stone out of the way. I think she said to do it, and people with muscles put their shoulders to it. Later, when Lazarus waddled out of the grave all bound up in grave clothes, those around him took off the grave clothes.
It’s humbling to admit we need others but God made it like that. Come to the Lord. Look around for people who can help. Maybe a pastor or a mature Christian will listen and give you wise counsel. They will certainly pray for you with compassion.
Sometimes Christian professionals in the field of finances, health, etc. can give you excellent advice.
Often, it’s just a friend who will cry with you. When the wave of stink rises from the grave of your hurt after you roll away the stone away, your friend still stays until the healing begins.
Maybe Lazarus did stink when they first rolled back the stone, but Jesus spoke a word of resurrection and he stunk no longer. Come to the Lord. Ask Him for help. Look for people who can listen and help. Be ready to help others as you are healed.
He can change that dead, stinky situation into life for His glory. Roll away the stone, my friend. Roll away the stone!
“Passion without effort equals failure.” –Scott McKain