As much as we may not want to face the facts, death is part of life. We are all put on this earth for a limited time. At one point or another we must each perish, the old life giving way for the new lives that follow. We are not always spared times of loss.
In times of grief and sorrow, in times of loss, there is little that can be said that provides comfort. Sometimes the only thing we can do is to cry along with others who are crying. We share in the sadness.
In the story of the death and resurrection of Lazarus Jesus shows his compassion. What does Jesus do? What do others realize?
The story of Lazarus in John 11 is a tremendous reminder of what we can expect during the dark times in life. We will not always be spared our grief. We will not always have days of happiness and delight. There will be times when we lose loved ones or we face our own troubles. What we can rely on is the fact that we will not be alone in the dark times.
In John 11 Jesus is summoned to the home of his friends – Mary, Martha and Lazarus – because Lazarus is sick. But Jesus delays his arrival, and when he finally comes he discovers that Lazarus has died.
Although Jesus did eventually bring Lazarus up out of the tomb, a reminder I believe that Jesus gives us eternal life, at first he simply grieved with the family. Verse 35 is known as the shortest verse in the Bible. Yet in these two words we have a message of God’s compassion.
Jesus loved Lazarus just as he loves each of us. And Jesus wept along with the family, just as he weeps with us when we face troubles.
There are times when we wish that we will never die and that no one we love will ever perish. There are times when we wish that no bad thing will ever happen to us. But that is not the way of the world.
There will always be sorrow and loss. But we must remember that God is the Lord through the dark and the light. He is with us in the days when we are blessed with joy and gladness. He is with us when we have pain and sadness. Let us take comfort in knowing that we are never alone.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How do you know you are not alone, even in the worst times?