Eric, one of the first and most faithful followers of this blog, recently sent me a reflection he wrote for his church bulletin. I am honored to share it with you.
“Jesus began to weep” (John 11:35)
Those of us who are older grew up hearing again and again words such as “almighty”, “eternal”, “infinite” and “unchanging” attributed to God. When sorrow, illness, or other suffering comes to us, we plead with our great God to fix such things and relieve our suffering. Many times God answers our prayers giving us what we ask for, and also many times God does not grant specifically what we ask for. When our suffering is not eased, God can seem distant and uncaring.
One of the things that Jesus revealed to us is that God is never distant and uncaring. There is a great deal of mystery in the passage in John’s gospel in which Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. This article addresses only one point in this passage. Jesus stood in front of Lazarus’ tomb and wept. He wept in grief for his friend. He wept for the sorrow of Martha and Mary. He wept as we weep over the death of a loved one.
One recent morning as I lay in bed, I told God of heartaches related to my illness. In my prayer I saw the infinite Creator weep. I saw Jesus sitting by my bed. He dropped his head on to my chest and wept. My Lord and my God was weeping for me.
When suffering enters your life, and you cry out to God, know this. Your God, who loves you more than you love yourself, shares your sorrow, feels your heartache, and weeps with you. This is mysterious to our human minds, but it is true. Jesus revealed this to us. When you next pray to God in suffering, open your hearts to hear God’s words of comfort, care, and love. Know that God is with you sharing your burden.