(John 11:35 ESV)
There is probably nothing more tearfully heart wrenching than losing a loved one. The grief endured when someone you love dies is excruciating and debilitating. You seem to exist in a surreal world temporarily suspended in time and space and hopeless to the stark reality you’re trying so desperately to avoid….your loved one is never coming back….
Not back here…
One distant memory of a most unfortunate death happened many, many years ago when I was still a young and inexperienced nurse working the midnight shift at a local hospital. I stood quite fearful and reluctantly, beside an open incubator one cold and wintery night and gently caressed the very frail arm of a 14 ounce baby born way too soon…trying desperately to provide some sort of comfort to this beautifully perfect baby whose earthly life would ultimately be measured in mere hours….
The grief stricken mother was just outside our unit door and down the pastel pink and blue wall-papered hallway. Her life so completely different just hours before.…But now, two earthly lives forever altered in a matter of minutes…of one soon to be taken and of one left behind… unbearable grief and excruciating sorrow…of dreams shattered and plans thwarted. This tragic loss so severe for it’s victim…it rendered her emotionally unable to speak a “temporary” goodbye…
So final is your grip…..
There was an unexpected death in the town of Bethany. As this unfortunate news spread quickly, mourners came and gathered close to the grieving family. Many who gathered there were visibly sobbing for this man who once was. The sisters had sent word to the only One who could save him from his acute onset, but death had visited him quickly and he lay entombed for four days prior to His arrival. As The One approached, one sister fell to His feet in anguish and sorrow…the mourners also followed her there… standing behind and beside her as she mourned loudly at the Feet of our God…but all expressing the sorrow and grief that only death can bring….
When He looked upon the grief and anguish of the one sister who lay at His feet, and of those who believed, and of all those who would eventually believe, and also for those who would remain lost, He was deeply moved and greatly troubled…..as He filled with love and compassion for all who gathered there to openly grieve ….
And He gently began to weep….
Tears…slowing and quietly streaming from the Sovereign eyes of the only One who can bring us back to life….a deeply human expression from this Man of Sorrows…who is well acquainted with grief… who came to serve…who came to save….grief and sorrow He experienced as He mourned for a dying humanity…..and motivated by pure unconditional love for us….He willingly came and stepped into this darkness just to taste this bitter vial of death for one and all…..
Grief stricken tears actually touched the Almighty face of our God…
Where is your grip now?
“Often we say That Christ will meet us on the other side. That is true of course, but misleading. Let us never forget that He walks with us on this side of the curtain and then guides us through the opening. We will meet Him there, because we have met Him here.”