Grief

“The Lord’s loved ones are precious to him; it grieves him when they die” – Psalm 116:15

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When I read this, I thought about Jesus.  He was a close friend to a man named Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary.  One day Jesus received an urgent message from the two sisters telling Him that their brother was sick.  Jesus did not go to Bethany where Lazarus lived that day.  In fact He waited two whole days before He went.  When Jesus got to Bethany He learned that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days.

Since Bethany was close to Jerusalem, many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary to comfort them.  When Martha learned that Jesus was in town, she went to meet Him but Mary stayed at home.  The first thing Martha said to Jesus when she saw Him was, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21).

Mary said the same thing when Martha went to fetch her.  She fell down at His feet and wept.  When Jesus saw her and the people with her weeping, He was deeply troubled.  When they showed Him the tomb where Lazarus lay, Jesus wept.  After the stone was rolled away from the place where Lazarus was, Jesus raised His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You heard Me.  And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by, I said this, that they believe that You sent Me” (John 11:41, 42).

Then, in a loud voice, Jesus told His friend to come forward.  Wrapped in grave clothes and his face wrapped in a cloth, the dead man came out for all to see.  Tears of sorrow became tears of joy.

It grieved Jesus when His friend died.  Today, He longs to spare us the pain of losing a loved one but He cannot.  He longs to say to us, “Do not weep” but He can’t.  What He does say is, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).

We will all experience grief but we will not go through it alone.  Just as Jesus was there for Martha and Mary, He will be there for us.  Unlike the sisters, we will have to wait until Jesus comes again before we can be reunited with our loved ones but in the meantime, we can be comforted with that thought.  Remember when someone we love dies, God is grieving too.

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