2 of 3: The Savior Draws Near to You

By Chris Baxter

When (Martha) had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him… Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. John 11:28-35

Are you currently asking God, “Why” right now? Why this problem? Why this tragedy? Why this illness?

Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus, were asking Jesus why he had not come when he heard about their brother’s deathly illness. They both knew and stated individually to him when he finally did come, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” They knew Jesus could have healed him, but he didn’t.

Why?

The answer is found when Jesus was speaking to his disciples earlier: “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” (John 11:14)

Jesus said he was “glad” because he knew the bigger picture. He knew that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, which would cause many to believe in him as the Messiah, granting each of these individuals eternal life. However, its important to see that the joy Jesus had over knowing the future was also mixed with his sorrow in the present trial concerning the two sisters he loved. He did not wave aside the raw and real emotions of Mary or Martha; rather he entered into their grief with them. Scripture says, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled… Jesus wept. See again what scripture says: Jesus was deeply moved in his spirit. (He was not just slightly saddened). And, he wept. (He was not just misty-eyed).

Jesus does the same for you. Even though he knows the bigger picture which holds the greater outcome, he is compelled to kneel down beside you. His deep emotion and deeper love moves him to wrap his arms around you; he can’t help but weep with you. In his tears, there is healing. In his compassion, there is strength. In his present empathy, there is future hope.

Believe this truth: The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Trust the Lord with all your heart with your “why” questions. Feel his embrace, hear his cry, and believe what he says when he whispers in your ear, Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)

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Daily Prayer

Sent out

While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.  Acts 13:2-3

Dear Lord,

You have an appointed task for each one of us. Help us to encourage one another and pray for each other as we individually answer your call. Send us where you want us and be glorified as we use our unique gifts. Invade us with your Spirit and involve us with your ways. Amen.