Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jesus Wept

I have done a lot of crying today (The reasons for that shall be divulged soon enough but are not the point of this post.), and as such, John 11:35 has come to mind many times: "Jesus wept." As many of you know, this verse comes right after Lazarus dies, but before Jesus raises him back to life. Growing up in the church, I have heard many explanations for exactly WHY Jesus wept.

First, there is the explanation given by the Jews present at the time: "See how He loved him!" (v. 36)

Then there's the explanation that says, "Jesus wept because of the lack of faith of Mary, Martha and the other Jews."

Or this one: "Jesus wept because He was bringing Lazarus back from heaven."

There are many more explanations, I'm sure, and I'm not going to attempt to judge which of them are true and which aren't. However, I have my own opinion about one possible reason why Jesus wept.

I think Jesus wept simply to show us that it is okay for us to do so, too. I think He just wanted us to know that it's okay to cry. He gave us a glimpse of Himself at a place of sadness and vulnerability to emotions so that we would know that it's all right to be at that place sometimes. The Bible doesn't elaborate here on why Jesus wept. It doesn't give us an explanation or an insight into His thought process at that moment. It simply tells us, "Jesus wept." If we are supposed to be striving to be like Jesus and He wept, then I suppose it's all right (and even blessed, as He says in Matthew 5) for us to weep, too.

I'm sorry Jesus was sad, but personally, I'm glad He wept.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


A couple of weekends ago, I flew to Texas to see my dad. When we took off from Tulsa, it was cloudy and rainy, just an overall dreary day. As we flew up through the clouds, it got really bumpy, and we couldn't see anything. Then, all of a sudden, we came up out of the clouds and the sun was shining brightly. The clouds that had looked so gray and dismal from below were bright white in the sunlight and looked like mountains of cotton balls.

As I looked at the clouds from above, it made me think about life, trials and faith. The trials that we face bring clouds into our lives. When we see things from a human perspective, it seems dark and difficult. If, however, we choose to make the journey upward in faith to see things from a higher perspective, everything changes. When we look from God's perspective, the Son shines on all those trials of life and makes them into something beautiful that we couldn't see from below. When we look from His perspective, we can appreciate the beauty of the hard things, even though they're hard.

Even so, there are those times where we're stuck in between and it's bumpy and we can't see a thing. We know God has a plan and we know these trials are growing us, but we just can't see how or why. It is in those times that our faith is truly tested. Either we will lose faith and go plummeting back into the dark, cloudy place we started from, or we will persevere until we come out of the clouds and can see His plan at last.

I pray that today you will trust in His plan, whether you are above, below or in the middle of the clouds. I pray that the Son will shine through and give you hope in the storm.

"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:2-5