MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8
Now when Jesus came, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother..
John 11:17-19 (ESV)
BREAKING THROUGH GRIEF
Visitors to the Fiji Islands tell of a strange custom of “calling to the dead.” The one who has suffered bereavement climbs to a high tree or a cliff, and after mentioning the name of the deceased he cries out pathetically, “Come back! Come back!” The heart-rending wail is filled with despair, with only the mocking echoes to underscore its sad frustration! Those who have recently lost a precious companion, a dear friend, or a beloved child, can well appreciate the forlorn figure. Just imagine the look upon his face as with tears streaming down his cheeks he pitifully continues to plead for the return of his loved one.
In John 11:17, the friends and family of Lazarus are morning his death. Lazarus has been dead 4 days by the time Jesus arrives. This family is grieving and they believe Jesus is tardy. They had expected Jesus to come and heal Lazarus. Jesus is late and they have questions. When I was a kid there were times when my mom had to write a note explaining why I was tardy to school. The rest of John 11 is God’s note explaining why Jesus was late and why we can trust Him in grief.
Ray Stedman who says that the most difficult thing to handle as a Christian is “when God does not do what I have been taught to expect Him to do; when God gets out of line and does not act the way He ought.”(Ray Stedman. God’s Strange Ways). When are times you remember God not moving the way you expected?
Ask God to open your heart and mind to understand who He is and how He has been at work in your seasons of grief and the seasons when you haven’t understood. Praise God for having a plan and a purpose in your grieving.