Do You Believe This?

John 11

Jesus wept. John 11:35

As I began looking up definitions of weep or wept, I found that every definition is attached to some form of overpowering emotion. Whether it be “mourn” or “grief” or “sorrow”, weeping is usually associated with words that have a deep meaning.

In this chapter, we are stricken with the pain that death brings on a family. I know all who are reading can relate to some sort of death in their lives that have brought on the uncontrollable emotion that overpowers us to the point of tears. It could be the death of having a baby; death of a close loved one; death of finances; death of a job; or death of a dream. These “deaths” can bring on the most sorrowful cries we will experience here on earth. The type of weeping that makes your heart physically ache and your stomach turn in knots.

May 25th, 2005 marks a tragic day in the life of many people, including myself. It was the day that my friend, Amber, decided to take her own life at the young age of 14 years old. Twelve years later, my heart still stings as I try to imagine the pain and agony she must have felt in those final moments.

May 20th would typically be a joyful, celebratory day but has turned into a mournful day as my husband grieves what would have been his brother’s 28th birthday this year. Even as I write these words, my heart begins to pound, and I find myself choking back tears with a lump in my throat. October 4th, 2011 marked a day that Griffin will never forget.

Death is tragic and extremely painful. I can’t even begin to imagine the type of sorrow my husband, his siblings, and parents feel. As I read this passage, I began thinking of his family, Amber’s family, and other families that I know who have suffered huge losses such as these. I pray that if you have suffered in any way,  this chapter in John can shine some light into that deep, dark spot.

The shortest, yet most profound verse is found in John 11. If we back up to verse 33, we find that Jesus’ spirit groans as He witnesses His friends weeping in sorrow. In other words, He was frustrated or bothered by the limitations that humanity has to suffer here on earth. He had deep compassion and love for these people, so to watch them be stricken with sorrow was upsetting to Jesus. And as we move forward in the verses, He then begins to weep because He was moved by their emotions. He hated to see how His creation had to suffer. After all, it was not how God intended it to be.

One day, my husband said something to me extremely profound. He said, “Satan took my brother; God didn’t take him; Satan did.” I thought about how true that statement is as I read this chapter. Because Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden and she committed that first sin, God’s perfect plan for humanity was obliterated. Satan is the one responsible for beginning the fall of man. With that first sin, came immortality.

But in that same breath, we now have hope because of Jesus’ death on the cross. Sin has no more victory. And we are never truly home until we are with Jesus in heaven. (2 Corinthians 5:6) I love what Jesus said to Martha in verses 25 and 26: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Oh friends, my prayer is that you believe this: Jesus can bring life where there is death, light where there is darkness, joy where there is sorrow, and hope where there is despair. We won’t lead a life absent of trials, but we can lean on a Savior who weeps with us and restores us to life again. My husband is the epitome of turning a tragic death into a place of hope and testimony so that others can believe and spend eternity in heaven with his brother. He knows that he has more life ahead with Robert than he ever had on earth. And praise the Lord for that.

“O, Death where is your sting? O, Hades where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)

Do you believe this?

be free. xo

Leah

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