“The king said to the Cushite, ‘Is it well with the young man Absalom?’ And the Cushite answered, ‘May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man.’ And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, ‘O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!..’ The king covered his face, and… cried with a loud voice, ‘O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!’” 1 Samuel 18:32-33; 19:4
“He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:3-7
“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 11:33-35
So often our grief is for a loved one lost, whom we will never in this life see again. We can’t grasp the reality of that shock through the choke of sorrow, the barrenness and breathlessness of the void. Yet it can also be for what was, that ended in disappointment, unfulfillment, or anguished pain; what never was, but maybe could have been; what is impossible to retrieve and do over. These leave a similar deep pang of longing, a weight of regret and sorrow.
Our hope in any grief, penetrating as they are, is that Jesus reaches into the depth with supernatural grace and healing. He has borne our grief, as the Son of man on earth, and Son of God on the cross. And He daily bears us up. He understands and shares our sorrow, as well as has actually carried it and put its eternal sting to death on Calvary. Marvelous mystery! (Psalm 68:19; 1 Corinthians 15:54-57)
What griefs do we carry, over lost opportunity, words said, relationships broken over squabbles or misunderstandings that shadow over time? Do we continue to coddle wounds, feed our hurts in self-pity, nurse grudges, or don a martyr suit for all we have suffered to evoke sympathy from others? Would we instead plunge into the deep love of Jesus that has borne our sorrows, and even now redeems our griefs, and grow our acquaintance with His benevolence and comfort? (Joel 2:25)
“O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free,
rolling as a mighty ocean
in its fullness over me.
Underneath me, all around me,
is the current of thy love;
leading onward, leading homeward,
to thy glorious rest above.” ~S. Trevor Francis (1834-1925)
Loving Lord, thank You for bearing the sin of Your children, and all its attending grief. Fill me days with thanks and praise for Your wondrous ministry to me.