Have You Ever Made Jesus Cry?

Jesus wept. John 11:35. The shortest verse in the Bible, yet has caused many great discussions about what exactly caused Jesus to cry. Lazarus was his friend. This was not a term often used to describe many people in Jesus’ life. It would be a natural reaction in the flesh to express emotion. Some even say that He wept because of the fact that death even existed in the world due to the sin by Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Although these seem like very reasonable explanations, I once heard a preacher that introduced a thought I’d never heard or considered before. Perhaps He wept due to their unbelief.

Mary, the sister of Lazarus, who sat at Jesus’ feet, hanging on every word when He had visited their home, was very vocal in voicing her disappointment in allowing this to happen. She accused him of being too late. He had let her down because this was not what she had expected of Him. Expectations affect our reactions to circumstances in a monumental way.

Several years ago an event happened in my life. Life had always been difficult, but I had come to think that as long as I was doing my part for God that He would take care of me. For the most part, this statement is true. My trouble was, in my mind I expected to have to face things, but the event that happened was something I didn’t think God would ever allow to happen. My whole world was turned upside down. In the beginning I was in shock, and reached out to only a couple of people. These people were kind and promised to help me through this, only to get busy and I got lost in the cracks. I became angry with God. I felt betrayed, let down, disappointed and discouraged. It has to be one of, if not, the darkest places I’ve ever been in my life. I became numb and felt as if I had died.

After all, I had been faithful to God. I not only went to church every time the door was open, but I read my Bible every morning and prayed with purpose. I participated in every event surrounding the church and gave to those in need. I taught Sunday School. I was a praise singer. How could God let me down like this? I didn’t realize it, but I had become self-righteous in the midst of all my service for the Lord. Not so much in a way that I felt as if I were better than others, but in a way that I expected God to answer my prayers. Now some would call this faith, bold faith. That’s what I thought it was, but instead I was shaking my righteousness at God, demanding an explanation. I’m pretty sure this was the day I made Jesus cry.

I continued to go to church, but I was going through the motions. I needed help and God had always been my answer to anything that I had ever faced, but my faith dropped tremendously. This is a dangerous place to be in. Times like this are necessary though, a testing of our faith, but I no longer felt quite as if I owed God all of me. He had failed me, it seemed. I knew this couldn’t be true, but it felt like it. I began to let my guard down and my vigilance against the enemy was no longer in place. I allowed a breach to happen. You better believe, you may not get people’s attention when you need help, but everyone starts to pay attention when you make a mistake. Suddenly there were questions and counseling taking place. All I could think was, ‘Where were you when I needed you? If you’d been there, maybe this would not have happened.’

Unknowingly, this was God’s great mercy and grace ministering to my life. Many needed lessons were being taught. Even though I’d lost faith in Him, He had not forgotten me. He loved me enough to get His hands dirty and pull me up out of the miry clay and was placing me on the strong rock to stay.

I remember being in an online social community during the dark days and reading an article called ‘Waiting For Hope.’ I don’t exactly remember what it said, but I remember feeling like nothing explained how I felt any better than this phrase. Although I still didn’t feel strong or as if I had any faith, it was the beginning of my reconciliation with God. I recognized that He was leading me through this valley. I also remember a sermon at church camp by Bro. Jimmy Toney, ‘Deadly Wounds.’ In this sermon he spoke about how as children of God we will be attacked by the enemy, even causing deadly wounds, but just as Jesus kept His scarred nailprints as a testimony to others, we should not be embarrassed of our scars because they are our testimony of what God has delivered us from.

The lessons learned during this very difficult time are priceless and although it was painful, I am a better person because of it. I have learned that God is faithful, even when we are not. He knows our heart better than anyone else. As Isaiah 64:6 says ‘our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.’ And the most important lesson to me was, there is no hurt that God allows that He cannot heal. Jesus allowed Lazarus to die before he got there because He knew He could raise him from the dead. A speaker at a ladies conference put it this way, ‘Our every tomorrow must pass in front of Him before He allows it to come to us.’

Now, there are some memories etched into our brains and at the time we can’t imagine ever forgetting them. Childbirth is a good example of this. I had two children, naturally, with no drugs. At the time, it was a pain I thought I’d never forget, but seeing the beautiful newborns made it worth it and now 19 and 16 years later, I can honestly say, the memory of pain is very faint. I can also say at this time that I have come a long way in the healing process and the pain that was caused in the event mentioned earlier has faded away and that in itself is a miracle to me. We may not receive complete healing from the things we go through here on this earth, but just as the song says, ‘Just one glimpse of Him in glory, will the toils of life repay’ I’m looking forward to that day.

When we all get to heaven,
what a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
we will sing and shout the Victory!

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