...a few years back I was sitting in my car just ready to listen to my friend announce he was running for public office.
For hours I had anticipated hearing the words from this optimistic politician, how he was going to move forward and serve because he felt called to bring help and strength to families who have been upset by the death of a loved one.
As I stepped into the street my phone rang. On the other end was my brother. His words cut through me. "Dad has cancer."
The words stung in my ear. "The tumor is on his liver. But... The doctor said he won't die from the cancer. Parkinson's will take his life before the cancer can."
That was January 6, 2006. February 19, 2006 my father stepped into eternity. God's grace met him here on this earth and God's grace held it's hand out and escorted him into the presence of the savior that gave him life.
I spent seven of the last nine days of his life with him. I stood. Numb but not surprised the night my family called to say he had taken his last steps here and stepped into heaven.
I cried. We all cried.
When it came time for the service, my own health kept me from being able to stand up and say what was on my heart as part of the service that day. I sat with my head in my hands. And I listened. The preacher spoke. I listened. The preacher told stories. And my family listened. Can't say that I could repeat what the preacher said that day, but I listened.
And so did Jesus...
John, the man who was the beloved of Jesus, wrote these words... "Jesus Wept." (John 11:35 NKJV)
I remember the first time I read these words from Max Lucado...
"Jesus Weeps.He sits between Mary and Martha, puts an arm around each, and sobs.
He weeps with them.
He weeps for them.
He weeps with you.
He weeps for you.
He weeps so we will know:Mourning is not disbelieving.
Flooded eyes don’t represent a faithless heart.
A person can enter a cemetery Jesus-certain of life after death and still have a Twin Tower crater in the heart.
He wept, and he knew he was ten minutes from seeing a living Lazarus!
And his tears give you permission to shed your own.
Grief does not mean you don’t trust; it simply means you can’t stand the thought of another day without the Lazarus of your life.
If Jesus gave the love, he understands the tears.
So grieve, but don’t grieve like those who don’t know the rest of this story. (From the book, Next Door Savior)
I read those words and my heart is warmed again.
Here, re-read this phrase... "He wept, and he knew he was ten minutes from seeing a living Lazarus." He knew the outcome and still took the time to feel the pain of being human.
As I sat and read the page from my devotional, once again, my heart was moved to communicate to you this ongoing truth...
Jesus knows your sorrow.
He knows your grief.
He knows the burdens of your heart.
And when the chips are down and life has dealt you a blow beyond what you think you can handle.... Remember, Jesus Wept.
Don't let anyone, especially those who have not walked in your shoes, take that away from you.
And look up, because we can grieve with the reality that hope awaits.
I pray that God's hand of grace meets you at your deepest point of need this day.
If you don't need these words today, someday you will.
If you know someone whose heart is weary, please feel free to pass it on...
And every so often, when you see tears in the eyes of the hurting, feel free to follow your Saviors example... and weep...