If You Don’t Know When the Heartache Will End
“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” John 11:33
My glazed-over eyes gazed out the window, but I wasn’t really seeing anything at all. The scene far below was simply a spot for my vision to land on as my mind meandered. What will happen next? I wondered as we ended week three of our loved one’s hospital stay.
I knew Jesus loved me, and I was certain of His love for my family member too. But we were weary after so many days of uncertainty; sadness wrapped us in the chill of the hospital.
When will the heartache end?
In John 11, Jesus was on the move. Not to visit a cold hospital room but to visit some dear friends who were also experiencing brokenness due to illness.
The sickness of Mary and Martha’s beloved brother Lazarus had delivered death while the sisters waited for the Savior to come. But making His way to bring comfort to His loved ones, Jesus intended to bring more than His support. He was coming to show the sisters and “the Jews who had been with Mary in the house” (John 11:31). His love and His power as the Son of God.
As I read the entire story of Lazarus’ death, there is a particular piece that soothes my own hurting heart. Even though Jesus knew how this day would end, knew that He would raise Lazarus from the dead, He deeply felt the pain of His friends.
“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (John 11:33).
“Then Jesus wept” (John 11:35).
Jesus didn’t just observe their grieving; He entered into it with them.
In my own season of heartache, just reading the words “Jesus wept” comforts me. He was with the sisters in Bethany, and He is with me — understanding the pain I am in right here, right now.
His Word confirms that not only does He comfort me now, but also there will come a day when “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
This story of Jesus and His friendship gives you and me a true picture of His heart. He was with His friends in their pain, and as surely as we are His beloved, He is with us as well.
Right now, I don’t know the full ending to my hospital story. Though I want to ask questions and wonder about the purpose of this suffering, I’m clinging to what I believe and know by faith. As Jesus said to His disciples in John 11:4, this sadness will work its way out and will ultimately be “for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it”).
Jesus, You were with Mary and Martha in their sadness, and You are with me in mine. Thank You! I trust You to work all of this out for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.