When Our Heartache Becomes His

I bawled my eyes out today. I’m talking pillow-soaking, booger-dripping, run-out-of-kleenex type of crying. Not fun.
woman crying dealing with heartache[Note: I highly recommend reading Psalms in these moments. David has a way of putting in words what we struggle to express. Now back to the boogers…]

I have no idea what God is doing. I cannot understand why God is allowing these delays and setbacks. My mind cries, why God? but even louder my heart cries, when God?  When will this all be over? I want a bright future but I cannot see anything good through all these tears.

Martha’s Heartache

I am certain that Mary and Martha could empathize with me. We all know their story.  Their brother Lazarus, who was one of Jesus’ close friends, falls ill. Mary and Martha send word to Jesus, but when Jesus gets the message, He doesn’t go to them. Despite their hope for a miracle, Lazarus dies. The funeral is held.  And Jesus doesn’t go. Their heartache deepens. I am not sure which hurts more: Lazurus’ death or Jesus’ seeming indifference.

Very early in this story, Mary and Martha had been given their ‘why’. Jesus said, “It is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4) They knew this was for God’s glory, yet they still wept. They still had questions. They still didn’t like it. Their hearts still hurt. How I relate!

My Comfort

This story ends with Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Yet today, I find comfort in what occurs just before their happy ending. In the midst of confusion, in the midst of disappointment, in the midst of questions when their sorrow is still at its height, scripture gives us this beautiful truth:

“When Jesus saw her weeping… Jesus wept.”   John 11:33-35

Her heartache became His.

As I sit here mourning, weeping, and snot-sniffing, I am not alone. I am not shamed for my feelings. God is not indifferent to our sufferings (Ps. 10:14). Christ is deeply moved in spirit by our tears. Though I do not know the future, I can embrace this truth in the present: When my heart aches, His does too. When I weep, He weeps. I do not have to carry this alone (Is. 63:9Is. 46:4). Somehow, I am comforted that He too bears the sorrow of the very situation He allows for His glory.

The above was taken from my journal a few months back. I took the risk of sharing this vulnerability in order to encourage those who might feel similar. God’s grace has been more than sufficient for the situation that sometimes still causes me sorrow. I know this too is being “worked out according to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.” (Romans 8:28) I am still comforted by knowing that my tears move His spirit. I never want to go through this again, but equally I feel as though I never want to trade what I have gained through it all.  What, you may ask, have I gained? Christ.  I haven’t simply gained a knowledge about Him, but have gained fellowship with Him. And put simply: He is worth it.

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