When we notice the suffering of others, we often nod sympathetically and say, “I’m sorry.” We may offer a hand to hold or provide a hug.
But how often do we cry with them?
How often do we grieve with people?
How often do we grieve for people who are lost?
How often do we grieve behind closed doors for our own losses, but never publicly show any signs of emotion that would invite others to grieve with us?
Some of the most comforting times of my life have been when friends and family cried with me. We knew we could not fix the situation.
In our joint grief, we released ourselves to The One Who would enter grief with us, not always to fix, but to comfort.
The Bible records three instances of Jesus’ tears.
When his friend, Lazarus, died, Jesus wept. We might find this puzzling since He knew He was about to bring him back to life.
But Jesus’ first act of mercy was to unite with those who were grieving.
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. Jesus wept.
John 11:33 and 35
The second time Jesus wept was when He thought of those who refused to believe, even when He had revealed Himself to them. He saw the future outcome of their sins. Even though they were not grieving yet, He knew they would be.
As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it … you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.
Luke 19:41 and 44
And finally, Paul details the tears of Jesus in advance of His Own Suffering. He spoke for all of us who see the road that leads to future suffering. We do not want to go there. And yet we will go.
But we will not go alone. Paul was careful to include that God heard Jesus’ prayers. When God’s Plans for Him remained the same, Jesus walked The Way of suffering and became The Way for us.
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to The One Who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.
Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.
Are you grieving? Do you feel alone and unheard? Have you felt your tears were simply watering the ground?
You are not alone. Your prayers have been heard. Jesus is weeping with you, mixing His Tears with yours, and collecting them all to anoint and refresh you.
Receive His Love. Receive His Comfort now.
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your Bottle. You have recorded each one in Your Book.
God doesn’t only promise to replace our grief with joy, but to turn it into joy.
Jesus said, “You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy!”