Updated: Sep 28
John 11: 32-36
Recently a friend was posting in her grief about a dear friend who had passed away. She eloquently expressed her confidence in God's presence in the midst of the situation. She wrote:
While grief feels like a companion we never asked for, a rude intruder who knocks down the door and interrupts our lives in a terrible and disruptive way, the love of God will resurrect that presence into love again.
This reminds me of the picture for this post and how I discussed it in my book and video study, "The Next Thing: A Christian Model for Dealing with Crisis in Personal Life."
I really like this picture of Jesus weeping with the mourners of Lazarus. Lazarus and his family were dear friends of Jesus. Christ cried because he felt their pain, even when he knew that he was soon going to make everything all right by raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus sat in the moment and shared their grief.
The passage to which I'm referring is John 11: 32-36.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
I am so amazed by Jesus. The easy thing to do would have been to dismiss Mary's feelings. "Oh, it's going to be all right. Just watch. Shazam!" and Lazarus would have come back to life.
Instead, Jesus is compassionate and empathetic. He sits in the moment with the mourners, right where they are, instead of racing to the conclusion. He allows time to unfold. He gives his time to mourn as well. This is yet another way that we can have confidence in a loving God whom Jesus revealed. Even though God knows that everything will be all right in the long run, and that eternal life is ours and will be wonderful, He stops and mourns with us in the moment. If you are grieving, or frightened, or uncertain, or angry at the world, God will not move you along until He has sat with you and wept and empathized. Then He will work with you through the Holy Spirit to set you on your feet and on a righteous path. But the weeping comes first.
As I am finishing up my book and video study, "Unison Parenting: 9 Ways to Navigate Christian Parenthood with One Voice," I'm looking for opportunities to provide a parenting seminar at churches during 2024. Can I speak at your church? If you can help me toward that end, please reach out to me at Cecil@CecilTaylorMinistries.com.