Yes, I know you are in pain and that you hurt. It’s not okay, it doesn’t feel good. But I will weep with you and stand by you. You have to understand that the reason you are in pain and hurt is because you are human. Further, because you are human you will suffer pain and hurt. It comes with being human.
Deborah, my wife, died in 2009 from cancer, the Big C. we were married 37 years and she was the love of my life. I spent 2 full years in very deep grief and even now I miss her and I still cry at times. My sister contacted me today to tell me that today was the day our father died 19 years ago. Both of my sisters still hold our parents close in their hearts; they still hurt.
When I looked at the news and saw about the bombing in Boston I wept and I cannot give a specific reason why, the news just made me weep. I learned of some very dear people in our church whose daughter is going to give birth this month to a girl, who is already named. When the child is born she will go from the delivery room into open heart surgery to repair things that aren’t right. Open heart surgery is not minor and when it has to be performed on a really new, newborn infant it is very major and serious. More tears, more pain, more hurt.
On any given day open your newspaper and there is a section devoted to pain and hurt. It is called the obituary, I have been through that hurt, haven’t you. Go to the legal pages where they print all the legal notices of every kind. There you find divorces. God, the pain, please help! Visit any or every hospital or go to a military base where a unit is shipping out for a tour overseas. Those aren’t tears of joy, trust me. Pain, hurt, suffering of all kinds is going on. Natural disasters, man-made accidents (the town of West, Texas, is totally in shock and pain), senseless crimes, all of these things happen in life and cause pain, hurt and suffering.
Are you down enough yet to look for some perspective? What does it mean and why does it affect us so much? This is one of man’s great quests for understanding. Well, you have come to the right place looking for answers and I will make it simple and easy. I don’t know, I don’t have a clue and I could just say go look someplace else. But I won’t because I started this post so I better have a pretty good reason for putting you through this.
Let’s talk about Jesus and His take on hurt and suffering. I want to leave out Good Friday which is pain, hurt and suffering beyond anything humans can or should have to endure. Yes, it is pivotal to Jesus and all that He did but I want to see and show you how much He loves you and me, where He talked about our suffering.
Read John, chapter 11. Go ahead and read all of it to see your family there, two sisters and a brother. I know from personal experience Lazarus never got to choose what TV show was watched because the two sisters would gang up and out vote him. That meant no Gunsmoke or Bonanza. But the sisters loved their brother, loved him a whole lot. They also loved Jesus. Lazarus gets sick, really sick, so the sisters send for Dr. Jesus. If only He could come in time Jesus will heal Lazarus, we believe, we know that Jesus can and will. But Jesus didn’t come in time, the miracle Mary and Martha so desperately believed would happen didn’t. Their brother, the one they loved dearly, Lazarus, died. Stone cold dead as dead can be. Wrapped him up they did, and they laid Lazarus in a tomb knowing he would rot away and return to the dust from whence he came. And Mary and Martha and all the family and friends suffered great pain and hurt. Modern man likes pretty titles so let’s call it this wonderful name, grief. Pain, suffer and hurt is all you need to know to understand grief.
The story in John 11 is very clear that Jesus knew all about Lazarus being sick and Jesus knew that if He didn’t go up there quickly Lazarus would die. Jesus also knew the end of the story, He knew the greater plan that would speak volumes to all mankind. So Jesus waited a couple of days to make sure that when He did arrive Lazarus would be really good and dead, and there would be a stench. Jesus knew that Lazarus would rise up and come forth from the tomb alive and returned to his loved ones. Oh the great joy of that moment. Jesus knew all of this in advance, part of the plan for you and for me.
Now, when Jesus hadn’t even gotten all the way to the village Martha comes out to meet Him and Mary also rises up and comes out also. Now the moment! Jesus saw Mary and all the Jews weeping, weeping out of their love for Lazarus, tears pouring out, faces red and flush, clothes in a dishevel, torn up. Jesus saw all of the pain, hurt and suffering these people were going through, and that, my friends, is what moved Jesus. Jesus wept, John, chapter 11, verse 35. He did not weep for Lazarus, Jesus wept because His friends were in pain and were hurting. Jesus not only wept but Jesus hurt and He hurt with the hurt you experience when you lose a loved one, when you suffer a physical injury or pain. He suffered and hurt just like you.
It is because we are human. Let me say it again, the reason you are in pain and hurt is because you are human. Further, because you are human you will suffer pain and hurt. It comes with being human. But know that God Himself is not immune to the same feelings and because Jesus Himself felt and knew such pain and suffering and just plain old hurt He can bear witness with us.
Jesus walks with us, lives with us. He comes alongside us when it is the worst not to cure us but to be with us to tell us that one day all those we love will arise and come forth from the tomb. Greater still, Jesus Himself went into the tomb, our tomb, before us, to show us that one day we shall rise.
I would that I could hold and comfort all that read this who have been down that road, but I can’t. I can say that Jesus is that and He weeps when you weep. Blessings in Jesus name.