Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3
My breath silently caught in my throat as I understood the words being spoken through the phone – she went to be with the Lord last night.
And that was it. The day had finally come and I was wrestling with the hidden hope of healing for my friend. Words could not express my emotional state. Tears escaped my eyes and did the job instead.
The loss of someone special can be gut-wrenching. Anger, fear, and grief compete with our desire to trust in the One who has complete control over life and death. We want Him to do what we want; to provide comfort in the way we think we need it.
Mary and Martha experienced a similar struggle. Their brother, Lazarus, became ill and was dying. The women knew Jesus personally. They witnessed miracles He performed. They genuinely believed He could heal Lazarus.
But He didn’t.
Four days after Lazarus was laid in the tomb, Jesus came to the town of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Understandably, the women were upset, mourning the loss of their brother.
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!” (John 11:32-36)
Even while Jesus knew He would miraculously raise Lazarus from the dead, He was overcome with emotion. Understanding the permanence of death, empathizing with the devastation in losing a loved one, He wept.
Jesus cared for Mary, Martha, and Lazarus just as He cares for you and me. He weeps when we weep. He identifies with our pain. He doesn’t offer condolences. He doesn’t distract us from our pain. He doesn’t coax us to look at the bright side before we’re ready to leave our pit of despair.
He simply meets us where we are, holds our hand, and wraps His arm across our shoulders. Like a mother who sitting on the edge of a bed next to her daughter after a miscarriage – there are no words that could offer more comfort than her presence.
If you have ever questioned the Lord’s love for you or His presence in your life, consider this quote by Max Lucado:
Does God care if I’m sad? Look at the tear-streaked
face as He stands near Lazarus’s tomb.
~ An Angel’s Story
Sometimes, no words help. Sometimes, no words are necessary. Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. Jesus put His love into action by taking on human flesh, authentically experiencing every emotion we feel. May we find comfort in His presence.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.