There is a story in the Bible of a man named Lazarus.
We don't know a lot about this man,
but we do know that Jesus loved him.
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
John 11:3 (NIV, emphasis mine) (also see verse 5)
I don't think that his sisters were referring to Jesus' divine character of love toward all, but to a special love for a dear friend. It appears that Jesus had a special friendship with Lazarus.
Before I go on, here's a quick side note.
Something that I find to be very important when reading the Gospels and learning about the life of Jesus is that although the general public, the religious leaders, and even the disciples were often confused about WHO Jesus was or WHAT He was able to do - Jesus was never confused!
Jesus KNEW He was God and He understood the power and authority that He possessed.
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
Then Jesus came to them and said,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Matthew 28:17 (NIV, emphasis mine)
. . . He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters;
the storm subsided, and all was calm.
“Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this?
He commands even the winds and the water,
and they obey him.”
Luke 8:24b-25 (NIV, emphasis mine)
Ok, so back to Lazarus.
If you continue to read in John chapter 11, you find out that Lazarus dies before Jesus gets there.
There are two things that happen in this story that seriously blow me away, and they might not be what you think.
When Jesus is headed to Bethany where Lazarus and his sisters live,
He knows that Lazarus is dead AND
He knows that He is going to raise Lazarus from the dead.
It is clear however that the disciples do not understand Jesus' plans (see John 11:12 & 16) and when He arrives in Bethany it is clear that Mary and Martha are hurt by his delay, heartbroken by the loss of their brother, and completely unaware of Jesus' plan to return their brother to them, alive and well. (see John 11:17-32)
Ok, so here's where it really gets me!
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
John 11:33-35 (NIV)
I am overwhelmed, even as I type those words I've read so many times. Did you catch it?! Do you understand what this means!?
It means that my Jesus, my precious Savior, Author and Perfecter of my faith, hurts when I hurt.
Even though He is in control!
Even though He knows the outcome!
Even though He could have stopped it and chose not to!
Even though He has every intention of doing something absolutely marvelous!
He still cries with his friends.
He has empathy.
He hurts when we hurt. And it is OKAY TO CRY!
Do you want to know, What would Jesus do?! When your heart is broken because you've lost something precious to you?
He would cry with you, that's what He would do.
If you want to know the rest of the story, I urge you to read John 11. It is a beautiful story of compassion and healing. You will see Jesus perform a miracle like no one then or now could begin to imagine.
But here, right now, I just wanted to share with you these two things.
Jesus is all-powerful and all-knowing
Jesus is also deeply compassionate
and hurts when His friends hurt.
and it's okay to cry
Sometimes it really pays to have awesome friends who totally get the whole "we're in full-time ministry and our field trip budget is eensy weensy" thing!
No, Silly, that is NOT my awesome friend I was talking about! That is the giraffe that we got to see just a few feet outside of our car window as we enjoyed a drive through "safari"!
However, we could not have met Mr. Giraffe if my awesome friend had not texted me to let me know about the Groupon that got us into this safari for less than half price! You rock, Debb! ;)
Yes we have snacks, but don't be greedy!
Sorry, Dude, your friends were greedy and we're fresh out!
T1 and T2 decided Daddy really should build them a fort like this!
One of my very, very favorite parts of homeschooling is the ability to have all day, family adventures like this and call it school! T1 has always been fascinated by animals and has read more books than I can count on all different kinds. Having him with us was like having our own personal tour guide. As we drove along he shared his wealth of information about many of the animals we saw. How cool for Josh, T2 and I to learn from Thing 1 and what a gift for him to see up close and personal many of the animals he's read about.
I grew up behind a drum set (not playing, but literally "behind" the set). My daddy is a drummer and for as long as I can remember, I LOVED sitting behind watching him play from what I considered VIP seating. From behind the drummer, you can really SEE everything happening. You watch ever swing of the arm, move of the hand, and the quick grabbing of a new stick when the other went flying.
I have loved music for as long as I can remember. There is something about the way it stirs the emotions. Music speaks deep into your heart. It can bring comfort and joy or it can amplify sadness and anger.
But sometimes in the midst of my noisy life, I forget to let music bless my heart.
Living in our small trailer makes for a lot of concentrated sensory input. We are all VERY close, all of the time. Messes are more of hindrance, clutter is more visually frustrating, and noises are LOUDER! Between the fan or A/C running, Josh practicing his guitar or making booking phone calls, the boys playing LEGOS and talking (or bickering), and me clanging dishes, there is always LOTS of sound. So, when I have a choice, I do not like to add additional things to listen to.
That being said, I have consistently found worship music to be balm to a broken heart and a voice of truth when my mind is bombarded with discouragement. So, over these past few days as I grieve the loss of my precious friend I have gone back to my tried and true solution for dealing with heartache.
Armed with the latest worship CD downloaded on my phone, I head outside to walk and think and pray and cry. This week, two songs in particular have provided the soundtrack to my tears.
In her song, "Jesus Your Love", Kristene DiMarco says,
". . . So let my heart tell you again, when seasons change and stories end, You're steady love it will sustain me through it all. Jesus your love! . . . There is a place that stays though storms may come. I hear Your voice within the winds that blow. I hear Your song, it calls to me. Jesus your love! . . . There is a strength that rises up in me, to know that You've been here before me. A strength beyond what I can see. Jesus Your love! . . ."
In another song, Kristene sings these words,
" . . . Eyes on you, Lord! Eyes on you! Through the laughter and through the pain. My only answer, my only truth. Eyes on You, Lord! Eyes on you! . . ."
Oh praise Jesus that His love IS enough. There is not sadness that He does not see, that He has not known. He loves us through it and cries with us in it. Thank you, Jesus, for your love!
And thank you Jesus for music.
Some things are just sad - like gut wrenching, heart breaking sad.
And there's no sugar coating it or making you "feel better".
And right now, you don't want to hear about how "God works all things for good" or that "He has a plan" or that she's "in a better place"..
Because you know those things, but although we don't "grieve as those who have no hope," . . . .
We do still grieve.
And it hurts.
And It isn't fair.
And sometimes that just needs to be said.
So if you're reading this and your heart hurts because you had to say "goodbye" - I'm sorry! I'm just really, really sorry.
In memory of B.H. A precious friend who is now in heaven.
I don't know if it works this way. If in between your joyful dancing and humbled bowing before our King, He might whisper in your ear these words from me? But just in case He will, I want to tell you how very special you were to me. That even though we didn't see each other often, you always made me feel like family. Your love for Jesus and your heart for the lost inspired & challenged me from the moment we met, eleven years ago.
You and your hubby were Josh and I's first friends as a married couple and our first ministry partners. Your phenomenal ability to juggle helping your husband, caring for your children, and reaching your community, all while seeming content and always loving well, was nothing short of supernatural.
I do not understand this, because while you certainly have finished well and earned your "well done good and faithful servant" - it seems like God should have noticed how much you were still needed here. We were not ready to say goodbye. I know He knows what He's doing, but it surely doesn't make sense to me. You, my precious sister, were a gift to this earth.
I am a better mother and a more confident homeschooler because of you. Your legacy of faith and service extends beyond your family line and into mine as well. You showed me what it looks like to be content in all circumstances and to trust God completely with your future.
I love you my sweet friend and I promise to continue to pray faithfully for your family and to look for ways to love them.
I will miss you.
Hi! I'm Sarah
I'm so glad you stopped by! I pray you find encouragement and a reason to smile while you're visiting! If this is your first time on my blog, be sure to START HERE.
You will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
Jeremiah & 2 Timothy
(the Bible in a year)
by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
(family read aloud)
by Jamie C. Martin
Mother and Son:
The Respect Effect
by Emerson Eggerichs