I received a post in my news feed on Facebook that caused me to think long and hard about the message it conveyed to the reader and the message it conveyed to me. The longer I pondered it, the more I realized that I completely disagreed with it and here is why:
I know the profound sadness of losing someone you love so dearly and having to continue on without their presence in your life. For many, that pain is almost unbearable and they feel that the only way they will ever find relief is for that loved one to return to this earth or go to Heaven and join them. I miss my Daddy and Momma greatly along with my grandparents and several friends that have gone on to be with the Lord. There have been many, many times I have wished they were here for me to share something with them or just be near them. However, I have never wished to bring them back again.
My mind is drawn to the precious time while Jesus was on the earth that two sisters, Mary and Martha, were grieved at the loss of their brother, Lazarus. In John 11 it tells us the Mary and Martha sent for Jesus because Lazarus was ill and they wanted Jesus to come and heal him. However, when Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus was dead and buried for four days! Mary and Martha were vexed with Jesus for not coming sooner because they knew if He had come sooner Lazarus may not have died. When they took Jesus to where they had laid Lazarus, in verse 35 it states that, “Jesus wept.” Just those two words….
“Jesus wept!” Did you see that? He wept…for His friend, Lazarus…He, the great I AM, the Creator of the world…our Savior wept. In verses just before that and again after it shares over and over that His spirit groaned within Him. Wow, I know what that groaning feels like!
Now, before we jump too far ahead of ourselves and say, “Well, Jesus brought Lazarus back to life, so why doesn’t he bring my husband, brother, friend back to life?” I don’t believe Jesus brought Lazarus back to satisfy the grief Mary and Martha were experiencing. I believe Jesus brought him back to simply given them a reference to what a resurrection is so that they would understand and believe it when He Himself would be resurrected after His crucifixion and death. For if they did not understand what a resurrection is they may have simply believed that Jesus’ body was stolen.
Clearly, though, in this passage it also shows that Jesus is certainly aware of and acquainted with our sorrow and grief. He understands our pain when we lose a loved one. With that said, we need to understand that the work the Lord laid out for each of us is completed when He calls us home. There is no unfinished business or even unfinished love. Upon our death, we have served and loved completely and there is nothing more here for us to do. Those of us left behind are the ones who feel the incompleteness and lack…not the saint who has been ushered into the presence of our Holy God.
When the Lord does call us home, Scripture tell us that is precious to God. Psalm 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” My prayer is that I can find precious and complete what He finds precious and complete and not wish another day of pain, sickness and striving on my loved ones. I do hope this will become your prayer, too.