Posted by: glorifyhim1 | September 10, 2014

No More!

No More!

 

 

A few days ago I was introduced to a precious little preschooler – not personally, but through Facebook. A friend of mine is a member of the child’s extended family and she went to Facebook to request prayer for this precious preschooler who had suffered a severe head trauma. Countless prayers were surely offered for this dear child as Facebook posts were shared with friends of friends earnestly pleading for people to pray. Yesterday, however, as I logged onto Facebook I received the sad news that the little girl had died.

 

I didn’t know this family, but, oh, how my heart hurts for them. While I can’t fully comprehend the devastating loss that they are experiencing, I do know from losses I have suffered that it hurts – it leaves a gaping hole that seems will never be filled. I’m also aware of the struggles that accompany such loss. We grapple with why it happened and with all the explanations that try to explain why it happened. Sometimes, we wrestle with God Himself as we can’t wrap our minds around why a God who can do anything didn’t miraculously intervene in our situation.

 

I’m reminded of the story of Martha and Mary in the Bible when their brother, Lazarus, died. Jesus loved Mary and Martha and Lazarus. However, when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He waited two more days before He left where He was to go to them. By the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus had already died and had been in the tomb for four days. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him and exclaimed:  “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). A few moments later, Mary responded the same way: “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32). Is that not the way we often feel? Where is God when bad things happen to us?

 

So how did Jesus respond to Martha and Mary? Notice first of all what Jesus did not do. He did not rebuke Martha and Mary for their apparent concern that He had not come when they called for him (see John 11:3-6). Neither did He offer any explanation regarding his delay or Lazarus’ death. Instead, He did the three following things.

 

  1. He reminded Martha that her brother would rise again (John 11:23).
  2. He assured Martha of who He was (John 11:25-26).
  3. He wept with Mary.

 

The way Jesus responded to Martha and Mary can help us when we struggle with our own losses. We can take our grief to Him. He is big enough to handle our hurt and anger, understanding enough to allow us to grieve, wise enough to lead us through it, yet caring enough to sorrow with us. There are three things that I can glean from Jesus’ encounter with Martha and Mary that I can hang onto when I suffer.

 

  1. No matter how difficult my battle, I can know that this is not the end. There is hope beyond this life. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
  2. Even when I don’t have all the answers and even when I don’t understand, I know my God. As I have walked with Him and experienced His love, mercy, grace, and faithfulness, I know that I can trust Him. I can surrender it to Him. “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:10).
  3. I can take comfort in knowing that just as Jesus wept with Mary, He grieves with me as well. “You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?” (Psalm 56:8). The Psalmist reminds us that “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart” (Psalm 34:18a).

How thankful I am for a God who walks with me through my trials and troubles just as He did with Martha and Mary. Yet I admit, sometimes I grow weary. As I hear of the struggles, losses, and difficulties of so many in this world, I yearn for the day when God will make everything right. I long for the final culmination of the victory that Jesus has already won for you and me, a victory wrapped up in two little words – No More!  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). A day is coming, my friend, when there will be no more – no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, no more pain! Imagine life without death, without sorrow, and without crying or pain. Imagine a world without war, without violence, without hunger or thirst, without cancer or disease, without any curse from sin! How I am looking forward to that day when we will no longer hear about and mourn the death of a sweet little child. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. How we pray for no more!

 

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