My head hurt. My stomach roiled. Every muscle in my body ached. It felt like I was wading through mud, lead footed with a water laden blanket encumbering the activity of life and shrouding me from light. Bottomless tears were my constant companion. I was bereft of most emotion except an immeasurable depth of sadness and sorrow. Each day marked impossibility…. I had survived another 24 hours without one of my children on this side of Heaven.
Intellectually, I knew God was with me. I had experienced His closeness in the sweetest of ways in the months since Anthony’s death, yet despair was clawing its way forward. My hope was withering. How could I possibly live with this reality for the remainder of my days? Long life no longer seemed like a reward or something to look forward to, only Heaven. I knew my profound grief was natural but I needed to know God understood my shattered heart.
Mindlessly scrolling social media had become the anesthetic to my constant pain. Occasionally, nuggets of truth would provide the boost I needed for the next thing to be accomplished. One day, I came across this graphic and for a moment, the world stopped. Tears poured from the depths of my soul.
HE KNEW, HE UNDERSTOOD
I am no Bible scholar but I do seek to understand. As Christians, we often feel that the chaotic emotion of immense sadness somehow indicates a lack of faith. My journey through the valley of death’s shadow has proven this to be one of the Church’s greatest fallacies. We are made in God’s image. He too, has emotion. Jesus wept. The word “wept” in John 11:35 in Greek is edakrusen and in the Aramaic is demetha, which is translated “as weeping”. It means that although Jesus knew Lazarus was in a good place, Mary, Martha, and the Jews were heartbroken and their sadness broke the heart of Jesus. He wept over their broken hearts. He weeps over mine.
THE 18 INCH JOURNEY
What about you? What pain, regret, depression, loss, or devastation is causing you to question if God sees, if He understands? The 18 inch journey from head knowledge that He is with us, to heart belief that He cares, is difficult. Dear friend, He sees you. He knows your every pain. He cares so much that He took on our flesh and experienced this life with all its pain, trials, and sorrows. (Hebrews 2:14) By dying and rising again, He has conquered the power of death and destruction. (Romans 8:3) We can rest assured that the day will come when He will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4)
God is the author of our stories. All our days were written in His book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16) He knows the end and because I have trusted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, so do I. As others watch my life unfolding, I hope they understand that the messiness of this portion, the smeared words on these pages of my story, are because I happen to be in the saddest chapter. In the words of Alcorn, “It was not rain that smeared the words.” Jesus wept, and I do too. When you weep, Jesus does too.