Boy, our readings from several places are fitting into our theme, today. In the Chicken Soup Bible, we’re into the story of Joseph; a quote in the middle of the page says: “God will not permit any troubles to come upon us, unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty.” (Peter Marshall) Great blessing can come out of the difficulty–probably depending on how you react to it.
In our Lenten Devotional Booklet (titled “Together on the Way”), today’s reading from the gospel of John is the one where Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb. The guy who wrote today’s devotional, talks about how so many people try to say something positive, like “he’s in a better place”, etc.; but what he really needs is just someone to grieve with–“Jesus wept”, and “that, I can relate to” he says. He should know, since his family has been through a LOT these past years, including the death of his stepfather a few weeks before Christmas.
There are so many different ideas about why Jesus wept here… He was upset about people not believing in Him, He knew He’d be bringing Lazarus back from the bliss he was in at that moment, etc. I’ve always thought maybe it was just that, what Chris says–He was simply grieving with the family.
So, what’s good about grief? (dare we take this one on?)
- it forces you to think about the eternal–are YOU ready for it
- can anything else bring people closer to each other
- “God is close to those whose hearts are breaking.” (wish we could find the scripture reference for that)
- wakes you up to appreciate those who are still with you
- puts life in proper perspective–how important was that thing you were worrying about, after all?
Lord, forgive us when we forget how people continue to suffer, long after the funeral. Help us to be Your presence to them when we can.