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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The day God cried

Now when I think of deity, I tend to think of strength and power, not weakness and certainly not crying and grief. I may think of anger, and we talk about the wrath of God. But how often do we talk about the grief and pain of God? In the 11th chapter of John, there is the story of the day that God cried. And I must admit, like most of my contemporaries, I tend to view crying as weak. In Genesis it talks about how God repented that He had made men, but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. I imagine that when He repented, He was also in deep pain and grief, but it is not recorded for us that He cried until John 11.

God made us in His image and after His likeness, and we certainly feel grief and sadness, so it is not far-fetched to think He can also feel grief and sadness to the point of tears. But what would make Him cry? He who sits on His throne and looks down on the circle of the earth? He whose Word reigns forever and holds the universe together? What would move Him to tears? I will tell you.

I used to wonder why He didn't just go to Lazarus right away when He heard he was sick, but I think I know why now. Both Mary and Martha proclaimed that Lazarus would not have died had He been there, so their faith would have pulled healing virtue right out of Jesus (just like the woman with the issue of blood) and Lazarus would have been healed on the spot. But He did not come until Lazarus had been in the grave four days. I have been told that many thought the spirit of a dead person hung around for 3 days, but after the 4th day, well, you were definitely a goner. I don't know if that is true, but perhaps. Anyway, there was no disputing that Lazarus was dead; he was not just in a coma after 4 days of being in a cave without food or water and after having been very sick. And after four days there were still friends and family grieving and hanging around the grave. So different from our culture. Usually after the burial, most everyone leaves. I imagine part of that is because we use chemicals to preserve the body and we take a few days to wrap our minds around our loss, and we grieve before the burial, whereas they would bury their dead quickly as the body would begin to decay and as Martha said, would stink! But I digress.

Jesus came to His dear ones in their grief and asks where they have placed His friend Lazarus. He sees them sobbing, He feels the palpable grief that encompasses them, that permeates them to the depths of their souls and He becomes deeply troubled in His Spirit begins to weep. With them. For them. For Him.
There is such deep pain at being separated from a loved one and knowing you will not get to see them, or to talk with them ever again in this life. It is final. No more second chances.

But God.

Jesus was moved and felt the same things the others there that day felt, the same things any of us who have buried a loved one have felt. Only He was not helpless against this enemy, the last enemy, death. He prayed and then called Lazarus back from the grave, back to life; and Lazarus obeyed. He came forth, wrapped in the grave wrappings they laid him to rest in. Back from paradise. I would have loved to hear what he had to say about his time there, but that is not recorded in the book of John. I have talked to someone who died and was revived. She did not want to come back! It is better on the other side for those who are saved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. And I am sure the Lord knew this. But for those who are here in the three-dimensional part of the universe, those of us who have not seen the other side; we grieve with a grief that is beyond words, a grief this is commonly expressed with ….tears. And this grief, what we feel at the loss of our loved one, Jesus Himself experienced and it was what moved God to tears.

When Adam sinned, in that day he died. It was a permanent separation from the Father. He was no longer able to commune with God in the cool of the day. That is what death represents...separation. But God being God, stepped in and just as Jesus defeated death by calling Lazarus forth from the grave, God called us forth from our graves, from our sins, and from our separation from Him. He is calling to you today. Will you obey? Will you come forth? You will still be wrapped up in the grave cloths, but your family will be there to help you get them off. Just as they helped Lazarus.

In the days ahead there may be more death than any of us have experienced. There may be more pain and grief than we can bear.

But God.

He will still be on the Throne and He will still be in control and He will still be able to work miracles.

I pray you get to know Him now, so that when we face TEOTWAWKI, you will really, truly know Him and not just know about Him. That you will be able to call upon Him and hear and distinguish His voice from all the other voices round about you, so He can lead and guide you.

I say all of this for in the days to come, I believe we will need to be led by Him in order to survive.

Preppin' with Jesus by my side, in my heart, and leadin' the way,


Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Amen, HUP!! That was wonderful!

When my dad died in '99, we were at the hospital sitting with him and crying with my family. Mom asked every believer who entered the room if they felt they had the gift of raising the dead. Well, finally one prayer warrior came in to console us, and prayed a VERY weak prayer, not a COME FORTH prayer. Afterwards, he knelt by my mom and said that on the way to the hospital he was praying about praying to raise my dad, when he said in his spirit he saw my dad with his arm around Jesus, looking down and saying "What?" with a grin on his face. He was saying in essence, 'Are you kidding me? You want me to go back there?'. The man apologized to mom and said, "He doesn't want to come back". Boy, those were hard words to hear, even for a believer! But, we know it's true!! He was in a better place, and wasn't going to come back even for the family he loved dearly!

Help U Prep said...

What a story and witness!
I am sorry you lost your dad, but rejoice with you that you sorrow not as those who have no hope.
thanks for sharing that, I am sure it will comfort those who read your comment to the post.
You are such a sweetie!

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Thanks, HUP. Looking forward to seeing Dad on the other side!

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