He Is Here

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Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” So Mary immediately went to him. Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. (John 11:28-31)

Read: 2 Kings 24:5-9, 2 Chronicles 36:6-9, Jeremiah 22:24 – 23:32, Jeremiah 49:1-33

Relate: We cannot begin to understand Job’s grief. When God allowed Satan to attack him, that old devil didn’t pull any punches. His property, gone. His home, destroyed. His children, dead. His body, tormented. To top it all off his wife has turned to him and in the bitterness of her own grief shouts out, “Why don’t you just curse God and die?!” On to the scene arrives Job’s three best friends. For a week they do exactly the right thing. Jewish culture has a custom of mourning called sitting shiva. In this, for the first week after a death, close friends and family will put their lives aside to be with those grieving. There are various traditions or ways this is carried out but the primary focus is to simply be there. This, Job’s friends did this and for them it meant sitting in silence until Job was ready to kick off a good old fashioned Jewish debate.

Martha needed explanations. Mary needed presence. When Jesus came, He met each one exactly where they were and gave to them exactly what they needed. With Martha, Jesus explained, “I AM the Resurrection and the Life.” With Mary… Jesus wept. But I’m getting ahead of myself. That’s not for a couple days. Before that, Jesus didn’t go directly to Mary. He didn’t intrude on her grief. Instead, He let her know that He was there and then let her in her own time (which happened to be “immediately”) come to Him.

React: Different people will react to difficult situations in different ways. Some will have to “do something”. Some will put on a seemingly outrageous show of mourning. Some will clam up. Some people will crave a crowd and others will just want to be alone. When Jesus came upon Mary and Martha He was fully there for them. He saw exactly what it was they needed and then met it. When those we know are overcome in grief the best thing we can do is to be fully there for them. That means we do not impose what we think they should need or hear on them but rather to see how best we can walk with them through their sorrow. In this “being there” might mean waiting at a distance until they are ready to come to you. Jesus didn’t impose and neither should we.

Respond: God, when those I love are suffering through grief, help me to truly be there for them. Give me the wisdom and the compassion to see what they really need and not simply impose on them what I think they should have or what I needed in my time of grief. Give me the ability to truly demonstrate love in a way they would be able to embrace and help me to not simply spew out unnecessary and potentially offensive platitudes. To all people in all circumstances, help me to be a reflection of Your love.

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9 thoughts on “He Is Here

  1. Wonderful post….Heaven knows – and so do we – that Jesus will carry the burden for any of us if we ask. He will never leave us, he will never forsake us. (And he has already sent the Comforter to put things into perspective.) Praise God, Hallelujah!

    John 15 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

    Praise the Holy God, Bless the Holy God, Love the Holy God! Holy! Holy! Holy!

  2. Thank you for this, BJ. I have a friend who suffers with depression, who recently ended our friendship . . Broke all communication with me. Only I still love her and am her friend and sister in Christ, praying and waiting.

  3. If you really have faith .. he is really with you 24 x 7 … there are articles related to such things on my blog too.. you all are welcomed on the blog. May god bless you all!

  4. Pingback: He Is Here | Rosevoc2's Blog

  5. Going to a funeral on the 6th of August for a family friend and I have been racking my brain on what to do for her 19 year old daughter and the daughters dad. Jill made it through 2 rounds of chemo, a double mastectomy, and passed away during a stress test on her heart … very sudden. I had a good cry and now Im on the “how can I make your life easier right now” track. Thanks for this post!

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