“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16 ESV
Dear Heavenly Father – You are love. Without you there is no love. I praise and worship you. Please open our eyes and ears and understanding to know what you are saying to us today. In the name of Jesus – Amen
As we read last week, the Day of the Lord is at hand. In my studies I wandered off into studies of God’s judgement and wrath because I honestly believe that a time of judgment is upon us, meaning upon our world. I, for one, am under grace and He has provided a way for me (I hope you are as well). The urgency I feel for lost souls and the prodigals is heart wrenching. I literally sob to God. I am witnessing to people I see during the day – mostly to co-workers as the pandemic limits my physical reach. I am praying that someone is doing the same for my lost love-ones. And of course praying that God does a work inside them, just like He did a work in me.
I ugly cry to God. And as I opened my blurry eyes, while wiping my booger face, I knew Jesus was laying there on the floor with me – ugly crying with me.
“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” John 11:33-36 ESV
This passage is about the death of Jesus’s friend Lazarus. The verse “Jesus wept” has come up in my world a few times in the last week. I think it is important to remember the humanity of Christ – moreover humans were created in the image of God and God is compassionate as well.
As we see God’s wrath and judgements, as God puts more pressure of the prodigals to cause them to return, as we see the righteousness and unshakable holiness of God – let us not forget Jesus and God can cry.
The most amazing part of this passage, at least to me, is that Jesus already told His disciples they were going to raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus already knew the end of the story. He already knew the joy that was coming. Yet, in the moment, His heart was broken.
My son doesn’t believe in God. It breaks my heart. He doesn’t just reject God – He rejects and attacks me for my belief, which compounds my heartache. I pray – cry out to God. And Jesus and God sit there with me crying. First, He love my son more than I love my son. Second, He love me and hurts to see me sad. Third, He hurt – He too has been rejected. And yet He knows the end of the story – He knows when my son will turn to Him, and He knows how and He knows why. The same with my sister and my friends and other family members. Yet, as I cry – God cries with me. It’s a healing kind of comfort to know, the great and mighty God who is coordinating the end times and carefully dishing out His wrath in such a powerful way, preparing hearts to turn to Him through it – and the image of the Greek God Zeus with his lightning bolt comes to mind (ready to strike anyone who displeases him down). But my God is not Zeus – He is instead a tender and loving God who weeps and care for me as well as handling my prayers.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 ESV
Our tendency to view God as aloof is so strange, especial since we read the scriptures about how he handles our every need, while managing all of creation. Yet – we pray as if we are sending a letter and hoping it gets there, and maybe He’ll read it, and maybe we will receive an answer if He isn’t too busy. So when I read that God heals the brokenhearted – I sit here with my broken heart in my hand and hold it up in the air as if lifting it to an invisible god and he sends down some sort of lightning bolt of healing and fixes it, right? NO! Have we missed it all along? He come down here – comes to the floor where I lay and weep – bends down low to get to me. There is no other way to bind a wound than to be in direct contact and right there in person. One cannot telemed in a wound dressing. It must be in person. Yes, God comes near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18) and dresses their wounds – and even better, He heals them while we are in His loving arms.
Have you ever wailed out to God and needed to be quieted?
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 ESV
Again, we see – God comes to us. He saves us, heals us, cries with us and quiets us – because joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). When my son was little and was hurt, I would hold him and rock him and sing a quiet song. As he felt better I would change the song to something more upbeat and joyful that he could sing along with. It would slowly lift his spirits back up and reassure him. And in this verse in Zephaniah – we see God doing that same thing!!! Singing over us, singing to us – lifting our spirits with tender beautiful music!
“The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” Jeremiah 31:3 ESV
The Lord comes to us – He comes to saves us, to heals us, to cries with us, to quiets us, to sing over us, to comfort us – and usually we do not see it – sometimes we miss how close He actually is. Sometime in our minds we keep Him far away – and God can us it, He can appear far away. But I would rather He was next to me touching me without me seeing – than Him appearing to me at a distance. But I included this verse because I wanted to be sure to share with you – He comes every time. Unlike my ex and other people in my life – He has an everlasting love and is faithful! You cry out and he is there! He hears you and He knows you. We just need to be real with Him.
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 103:8 ESV
When you hurt, and share with your friends, do they cry with you? (I know I usually try to ease a friend’s crying and cheer them up – I don’t usually cry with them.) When you say you want revenge, do they help you plan it and get you more angry and upset? Do they comfort with a broader understanding of what is best for the world?
I tell you affirmatively Jesus cries with us – He says to release the anger; revenge is the Lord’s. We just need to love and heal. He is a righteous God and a loving God – He will deal with whomever in the way that will bring Glory to Him. He comforts me – but has everyone in the equations eternal welfare in mind as well.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV
New every morning – so we can do it again and again. How great is our God – Greatly to be praised!
“Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 136:26 ESV
If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**
Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!