When Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays and anniversaries come and a family is grieving the loss of a loved one, the pain of that lost intensifies. They are flooded with memories, and can see the loved one’s face, but it is a face that cannot be touched. Painful!
Can we find comfort in God’s words at these times? Some can because in the scriptures we see real life, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the painful. We read about David’s grief in the Psalms.
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. (Psalm 31:9)
my eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you. (Psalm 88:9)
Those of us who are friends and family of the grieving, can get comfort from the words about Jesus in John 11:33-36.
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!” (John 11:33-36)
Why can that bring us comfort? How can we use this to comfort our friends and family?
Well, you see, the grief of Jesus was different from that of David. David was grieving the loss of a loved one. Jesus was grieving the grief of a loved one. Jesus was not grieving for Lazarus. No, he already knew he was going to raise Lazarus from the grave. No, he was grieving over the pain death had brought to Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus. Just like Jesus had compassion on others whose hearts were wrenched in grief, he acted in love and brought life back to their loved ones. So, it was with Lazarus.
Jesus wept for the pain being suffered. He still weeps for the pain we must endure as we grieve. What we must remember is that shortly after Lazarus was raised from the grave, Jesus went to the cross and died to conquer death forever. There will be a time when there will be no more death. There will be a time when we will live with them forever.
Christmas is a time to find comfort in that promise as you worship the baby born in Bethlehem, and know that baby grew and conquered death. He crushed the head of Satan when he took the punishment for our sins and robbed Satan of our souls.
Easter is a time to remember that event even more significantly.
If you have family members who do not know Jesus Christ, please pray about how you might help steal them back from Satan’s eternal home, and live with them forever in the place of no tears.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelations 21:4)
Let joy mix with your tears. Let peace mix with your pain. Let HOPE, Jesus himself, fill your heart.