6 January 2014
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18.
There will come times in our lives when we are crushed in spirit and brokenhearted. We know we are not immune from heartache whilst we await the return of Jesus, but Jesus has promised us that He is close and has demonstrated this to us in John 11.
When Lazarus died, Mary and Martha were devastated and went to Jesus. The sisters also questioned why Jesus didn’t prevent Lazarus’ death. By then, it seemed too late and the mix of emotions that the two sisters felt closely identifies with our heartache and pain as believers. We know and have faith that the Lord will redeem all that is lost and will wipe away every tear when He returns. Yet, that doesn’t prevent us from having heartache in this world. We quite understandably will ask God WHY? WHY DID YOU NOT PREVENT THIS?
Some of us feel ashamed for allowing ourselves to feel this way. We feel it shows weakness and sometimes we also think it shows a failing in our faith in God. That is absolutely not true. Our heartache does not mean less faith in the Lord – and the Lord never rebuked Mary or Martha for questioning his reasons for not acting earlier. We are not told why Jesus decided to stay on two more days before going back to Judea and Jesus did not offer any explanation either when the sisters asked him why. Just as God today may not always offer an explanation for everything.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9.
What Jesus did offer was his tears. We read that Jesus wept with the sisters. The God, our Lord, the Almighty and the Alpha and Omega, weeps with us. He is close to us in our brokenness and when we are crushed. We don’t need to hide behind a false and tough image of strength. We are not spiritually weak because we get hurt and we are not angering God when cry out to Him, or even question the circumstances. Jesus accepts all of us in our state of brokenness. He is just saying to us, you don’t need to know why it happened, you only need to know that I am here, that I am close, and that I am God. Jesus is like that friend who just accompanied you when you were in pain and even though no words may have been spoken, it was of great comfort to know someone was there going through and sharing it with you.