My world continues to be immersed in grief. Not only have I had some tough situations in the counseling room with clients dealing with the tragic loss of loved ones – all unfair and untimely deaths – our little town of Buena Vista, Colorado is also reeling from the loss of Miranda, a local pastor’s wife. Miranda, married only eight months, was involved in a freak accident.
I find our normal knee jerk reaction in death situations and times of grief that so rock our world is exactly like Martha’s in John 11. Maybe when we get to heaven we will find Jesus and give Him the “what-for” just like she did. “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother would not have died.” We wonder where God was in the moment, on the day when tragedies like this happen.
It is hard to imagine that the God of the covenant who promises us an incredibly abundant life would look the other way when our loved ones need Him the most. It is easy to write God off when He doesn’t seem to take care of the important things in life.
Jesus only gives Martha Truth as an answer. He quickly reminds her that “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” John 25:11. It is hard to grab onto this Truth when grief and the reality of death strikes. Maybe it brings comfort, eventually, but for a time in our human pain, we have to be OK asking the “why” question. Even when the “why’s” never get answered this side of heaven.
We can rest assured that God cares about tragedies and our resultant grief. A few verses later we see Jesus weeping, “quietly shedding tears” is the exact interpretation. He wasn’t weeping about the death of His friend Lazarus. He knew that he would rise again in a few moments. Jesus was weeping about what the death of loved ones did to His friends. He saw their pain and agony because they were able unable to jump to the Truth of the matter immediately.
Yes, we can all be still and know, the God of the universe understands in our humanness it is impossible for us to understand and be comforted in The Truth of the matter. Our loved ones who believe DO NOT DIE. The chasm between really believing and the impact of the loss can take years and bottles and bottles of tears. When we are in this place we do what we have to do. We weep until we can’t weep anymore. Our only comfort is knowing Jesus weeps when He sees our broken hearts.