When I was in fifth grade, my parents picked me up early from school because we had received some bad news. My grandmother passed away in India, so we would be traveling there for her funeral.
Once there, I remember standing with my cousins under an outdoor tent with waves of heat hitting our face, listening to somber songs. I can still hear the rhythm of the slow songs in my ears and the hundreds of people who came to pay their respects. It was a sad time.
I also recall my father’s face as he stood near his mother, as he spent those last few minutes with her. I had never seen him look so sad, and it broke my heart. Thirty years later, his expression is still etched in my mind.
Grief is that part of life that we wish we never had to experience. Jesus had a friend named Lazarus, who after being sick for some time, died. When Jesus arrived at Lazarus’ hometown, his friend had been dead for 4 days already, and Lazarus’ sisters were mourning his death. John 11:33 says that when Jesus saw his sister and friends weeping, he was deeply moved spirit and troubled.
Jesus saw their sorrow and pain, and he was deeply moved.
Does it seem that you are mourning someone… or something, and you feel alone… and that God doesn’t see your pain? A job that you didn’t get? Someone who has died? The loss of a relationship?
God is deeply moved by our sorrow.
Earlier in the chapter, when Jesus had initially heard about the death of his friend, he told the disciples that this experience of Lazarus’ death (and eventual resurrection) would lead to God’s glory.
Sometimes we wonder if there is meaning to our grief…is there a point to shedding tears? There is. It is part of the healing process for your heart. David says in Psalm 34 that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted…” (v. 18) I love that verse.
He is right there with you.
And while there is a season of mourning, a season of rejoicing will also come..even if it seems to just be a mirage in the distance.
Rejoicing…because for those who are in Christ, everything has a purpose under heaven (Ecc 3:1). And for those questions we don’t have answers to, one day the pieces of an incredible puzzle will fit together in a way we never imagined.