Prepare – John 11:33-37
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!”
But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
I was 14 when I received the news my best friend in all the world was diagnosed with cancer. I was so confused how God would allow this to happen to such a good person. I prayed fervently that God would heal him but just a few months later he lost his battle with cancer. I was devastated and lost. Why didn’t God heal him? Didn’t God love him? I spent the next several years in pain and despair. I just couldn’t understand how this could be part of God’s plan. If He really loved us why did He allow us to experience such pain?
It wasn’t until I attended family camp several years after Donny’s passing that I would see how God was working through it all. At camp, one of the counselors shared the above verses with me and my eyes were opened to God’s love for me in the midst of my pain. Yes, God could have healed Donny, but sometimes He teaches us the most through the painful times.
At the time of Lazarus’s death his family was broken. They had seen Jesus work countless miracles but when they needed Him the most, He didn’t come. They couldn’t see through their tears the miracle that Jesus was yet to perform.
Jesus knew he was going to raise Lazarus but He was still moved deeply by the pain He saw in his friends when they came to Him. Here we find the shortest verse in the bible but one that opened my eyes to Jesus’s love for me in my pain. It says, “Jesus wept”. The Savior of the world wept at the sight of His friend’s pain. He knew He would raise Lazarus, but He knew His friends were hurting deeply in their loss.
Maybe today you find yourself in that same place. You are mourning the loss of your job, your community with others, your sense of security or your trust in God. I write this with tears rolling down my face because I know what it is to feel such a great sense of loss. May you find comfort and hope knowing that Jesus came to this earth for you and for me. He experienced every pain and sorrow we will ever face and He cares for you more than you could ever understand. Yes, we are in the midst of the storm now, but I trust that He is working something beautiful out of this mess. Reflect and take comfort from this story and know how deeply he loves you!
~ Pastor Nate Drege