Tuesday, June 18, 2024

God Weeps, Too

 By: Rebekah Hargraves

“Jesus wept.” 

~John 11:35

Photo Courtesy Of: Averie Woodard

Sometimes life is just plain hard. There are money problems, friendships lost, family turmoil, deaths of loved ones, deployments, illnesses, difficult decisions to make, and just regular, everyday struggles, too.

Unfortunately, when faced with one or more of these life situations, our tendency can be to wonder if God cares, to wonder if He is aware of what is going on or present with us in the trial, to wonder if He is touched at all by our pain let alone feeling our pain alongside us.

Let me encourage you today, my sister-in-Christ. He does care, He is aware and so very present, He is touched, and He is grieving right along with you. 

How do I know this? Well, there is a short little two word verse in Scripture (it is, in fact, the shortest verse in all of the Bible!) which so beautifully and powerfully illustrates for us just how much He truly does care.

That verse is John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” On face value, it may not seem like much, but allow me to expound on this verse and provide you with a little background info on what was going on in the context of it.

Beginning in verse 1 of John 11, we are told that Jesus’ good friend Lazarus was ill and that Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, went to Jesus to implore Him to come tend to their sick brother. He did not do so immediately, and by the time Jesus did actually arrive in their home, Lazarus had already died.

As to be expected, Mary and Martha were beside themselves with grief and told Jesus that if He had only come to Lazarus and tended to him, he would not have died.

We go on to read later in the chapter that Jesus ended up raising Lazarus from the dead and that all was well and happy again. But, today, I want you to notice this little verse smack dab in the middle of the story, the one that tells us that “Jesus wept.” 

Now, what sense does that make? Why would Jesus, who knows the end from the beginning and knew He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead in just a second and, in so doing, restore joy to the hearts of his sisters first stop and take time to weep before performing His miracle?

Why didn’t He just immediately jump to His plan of raising Lazarus? What did He have to be sad about? After all, Lazarus was about to live again!

Friends, I believe what we find here in this shortest verse in all the Bible is a glimpse into the deeply caring, compassionate, tender, kind, and loving heart of God. I believe that Jesus first stopped here and wept for two reasons. 

One was so that we would understand just how much He does grieve for us in our own heartache and pain, so that we would understand we are never alone no matter what we are facing, and so that we would feel seen and understood even in the midst of the worst of life's losses and griefs.

And, two, I believe the second reason was so that we would have an example of how we are to treat others when they, too, are in hard and grievous seasons. We are not meant to rush in and slap a bandaid on their pain or rush to the "good news" or expect them to quickly get over it because one day all will be well. No. We are to emulate the picture we are given by Christ to offer the ministry of presence, step into their pain, and grieve right alongside them. And that's a beautiful thing.

This may be the shortest verse in all the Bible, but I am convinced it is one of the most impactful.

Reflection Questions:

1) What stands out to you about this passage?

2) What is the Lord saying to you through this verse?

3) How is this verse meant to change how you think and live?


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