Thursday, April 18, 2013

The God Who Weeps

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
Jesus wept.
-John 11:33-35

This has been a tough week.  From the explosion at the Boston Marathon on Monday to the explosion in West, TX last night, it has been reminder after reminder that life sucks.  From the marathon, families are mourning.  As far as I know there are none missing.  From West, as of the last information I have, there are still people missing- and probably dead.  The nation stands in shock and mourning.

It is at times like this that people search for answers.  They want to know “why?”  And while they focus on the worldly “why” - “Why would someone bomb the Boston Marathon?”  “How did the fire start at the fertilizer plant?” – most people really want to know the cosmic “why?”  Why is the universe so fundamentally unfair?  Among those dead in Boston are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and an 8 year old boy.  Among those dead in West are (almost certainly- see also: some not accounted for) some of the emergency responders who were trying to combat the blaze in the first place.  None of these people deserved to die.

Now, part of me says, as Clint Eastwood’s character in Unforgiven so famously did: “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”  That’s a cold and clinical part.  Maybe it’s because I’m a guy.  Maybe it’s because I’m not “all there” emotionally.  Whatever the reason, I understand that bad things happen to good people, and we just have to deal with it.  The only answer is an early exit- and that’s no answer at all.

But part of me says, “God, why?” 

And God answers, “Because the world is fallen.  Because you have chosen Sin over Righteousness.  Because the Prince of the World is defeated, but not powerless.”

And when I hear that answer, it is no comfort.  But then I remember something, something that makes that answer bring comfort.  I remember a man- middle aged for his day, a young man by today’s standards, standing on a road in Bethany- just over two miles from where he would die- crying like a baby because one of his best friends was dead.  Jesus would raise Lazarus in just a little bit- probably about an hour, when all was said and done- yet “Jesus wept.”

I have a God who weeps.  I have a God who knows “it’s not fair.”  I have a God whose Mercy cries out to just make all the bad go away- but holds itself in check so that just a few more might be Saved and live with Him forever.  I have a God who I can cling to and cry like a baby when the world is too much.

And that brings me comfort.  I hope it brings you some, too.

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