Saturday, November 19, 2011

God's Tears and Mine

My daughter-in-law texted me the words of my GRAND-daughter’s friend, Elsa.

I’m crying in my heart because I love Ashlyn so much.
(Ashlyn is my GRAND-daughter. She is 4; Elsa is 3 ½).

Immediately two Bible passages came to mind: the prophecy in Isaiah that includes, “and a little child shall lead them” and the narrative of Lazarus in the gospel of John.

Precious little Elsa led me to consider God’s love for me. I wonder if he cries in his heart over me. I bet he does.

I imagine Elsa was remembering fun times with Ashlyn and was missing her. She was crying in her heart over her perceived and temporary loss. God’s tears for me have bigger reasons.

What might God’s tears over me communicate? I have some guesses.
·        Could they mean God longs for me to trust him?
·        Could they be that God wants me to really believe his love for me?
·        Could they mean God longs for a friendship with me where we talk face to face?
·        Could they mean God longs for me to understand life from his perspective.
·        Could they be that God is crying with me?
·        Could it be all of the above and much more? Yes.

Jesus’ tears over his beloved friend Lazarus are stated simply and profoundly in John 11:35, “Jesus wept”. He is with Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters who are mourning the death of their beloved brother. Jesus’ tears clearly communicate his love not only for Lazarus but also – and primarily – for Mary and Martha.

Jesus also uses Lazarus’ death as a teaching moment for the disciples. Earlier in John 11 Jesus plainly states, Lazarus’ death is “so you may believe”. (Verse 14).  They are reminded and I am too that God able to raise the dead; if God raises the dead, God is also able to work in – even reverse – the seemingly dead ends in my life.

Jesus words encourage me in another way too – they communicate that faith exists in me – it needs to grow – but it is there. The disciples had the ability to believe or Jesus wouldn’t have said so you may believe. I hear Jesus saying that to me too. And sometimes he is crying in his heart over my lack of trust.

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him”.
Hebrews 11:6

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