“Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.’ Jesus said, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.’
“When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary… [who] rose quickly and went to him… [and] fell at his feet, saying, ‘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. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’” John 11:17-29,32-36
In any poignant moment, emotions run fast and deep, pulling at the heart and prompting various action. Sometimes they distort vision, sometimes they spill out in impulsive accusations or wrong conclusions. But always they are known by, and important to, our Lord. He sees through any wrongness to His good ends.
He emotes with us, always in perfect measure and purity. His hot liquid tears reflect the wrench of deep compassion in His heart at the anguish of broken lives not intended to be this way. His measureless love flows beyond the edges of our comprehension and fills moments with indescribable bittersweetness, matching pain with exquisite comfort. He also foreknows, and always sees the glory in our hardest of situations. The pain we suffer is often the perfect backdrop for us to behold God’s immense love, His promised resurrection and brightest hope. (Genesis 2:9,15-17; 3:1-7; John 11:40-44)
When we experience how genuinely Jesus loves, how responds our melting heart? How drawn are we to love Him lavishly in return, and others the same? Understanding His tenderness should tenderize us toward life’s agonies. How deeply do we care about the griefs of others, or are we too self-important or frenetically occupied to even notice a broken heart, a downward countenance, a lonely suffering friend? (Genesis 40:6-7)
“Spirit of God, who dwells within my heart,
wean it from sin, through all its pulses move.
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as you are,
and make me love you as I ought to love.
Teach me to love you as your angels love,
one holy passion filling all my frame:
the fullness of the heaven-descended Dove;
my heart an altar, and your love the flame.” ~George Croly (1854)
Lord, help me grasp the vast measure of Your divine love, and to love You, and others, for Your glorious sake. (Ephesians 3:14-19)