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An Example (If You Think About It)

I have recently experienced the passing of someone close to me. I am not going to use this post to share that with you. I will say, one thing that has sustained me thus far is my faith.

While there is no book, no official guide on how to properly grieve, nothing on google on what the "right" way to handle things and in what order (trust me, I looked) through this journey and living through it, I came to some very important revelations. We will all experience this at some point and as one who believes in helping others, I want to share these with you so maybe it will help you when you find yourself on such a journey.

John 11:35

"Jesus wept." (KJV)

Many Christians know this verse. Some know it because it is the shortest verse in the Bible and the easiest to memorize. I believe it is the one of the most powerful verses in the Bible.

Jesus wept. In those two words we see that Jesus, who was fully God, was also fully man. If nothing else illustrates this point to you, those two words should. But what else can we glean from that scripture? When taken in context, especially given what I have just gone through, I can without a shadow of a doubt, say, Jesus gave us an example of how to handle death and the circumstances surrounding it, especially as Christians.

Family and friends can be irrational, ugly and insensitive in their grief. They can lash out. Love on them and don't take it personal. When Jesus arrived in Bethany, Martha went to greet Him. Basically, she was angry it had taken Him so long to get there and basically said to Him that if He had gotten there sooner, her brother would still be alive. Jesus told her, calmly, that Lazarus would will rise again. Martha was like, "We all will. He's still dead now." She was so distraught, she was forgetting who she was talking to. That is kind of like who we are. In our moments of grief, we don't care how the other people are hurting, we only care how we are hurting. As a Christian, I try to remember no matter how much I want to lash out at others, scream and cry, my gift is to comfort. I am the hands and feet of Jesus - even in my grief. How do you think Jesus felt when Martha approached Him in such a manner? He had always kept His promises; His word. She knew who He was.

Grieving is a normal reaction to death. It's okay to hurt and it's okay to cry. It's okay to grieve with friends as a sign of support. It shows we care. Showing up shows we care. Jesus showed up but don't forget the disciples were with Him. They were there to witness what He was going to do but they also provided comfort and support to all that were there.

Even people of faith have moments of doubt; however, they do not lose sight of the Truth. As Christians, we know what transpires when we die. We know God keeps His

promises and this world is only temporary. Mary and Martha was literally looking at

The Truth in the flesh and they still had a moment of doubt mixed with anger. They

questioned and border lined accused. If they, who were standing with Jesus when they did this, how do you not think those of us who have never stood in His physical presence

would not? In reality, Mary and Martha did not lose faith, they simply had a moment of doubt.

Jesus showed us you don't have to say anything to be supportive. He could have used this opportunity to preach a sermon or share a message. He could have done other great and miraculous things. He didn't. He went to support his friends, who He loved and to raise Lazarus. He did not have lengthy responses to comments made to Him. He listened and let Mary and Martha "vent" as it were. Sometimes, there isn't the need for responses, there isn't the need for words. Sometimes, just being there - a hug - the reassurance - is all. As people of faith, we love to share the gospel and the "good news." In periods of great grief and despair, the message may not always be received through words. In those times, the sermon is best preached through our actions.

At times when I read this passage, I wonder if Jesus wept because we just don't get it. He wept before He raised Lazarus but He knew what He was about to do. No one had a clue what was about to transpire. He did. No one knew what He was about to endure. He did. No one knew that He was saving all of us. Maybe His weeping was a combination of things as stated above. Sorrow over the suffering of His friends and their lack of faith. The multitude of human emotions He had regarding His impending death. Just maybe, there was a bit of joy for He knew He was conquering death once and for all and that gift to all of us He was so happy to give.

I can tell you I know death is a part of life and I firmly believe the person I lost is with Jesus. I know what the Bible says about death and I know God keeps His promises. I can also tell you during the viewing, I really didn't want to hear another person tell me "She is with the Lord," or "Now you know, The Bible says..." There were three people who actually said, "She is an angel now." No, no she is not. Humans do not become angels. That is nice to say but Biblically incorrect. (word of advice, do not tell someone that, especially a fellow Christian.)

Prayer is the best gift you can offer someone who has or is going through the process of grieving. Encourage them to grieve. Don't force a conversation because sometimes words are just words. If you must use Biblical references, I strongly recommend using scripture not generalities. My suggestion is to reference, "Even Jesus wept."

We are just passing through this world. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice so that when we die, we could have the assurance of Heaven if we made the choice to. When we face the death of a family member or a friend, we have the opportunity to reflect on our own mortality and a chance to make sure we will see them again. This can only happen if we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There is no other way to Heaven - we can't buy our way in, we cannot work our way in. We cannot bargain our way in. We will never be good enough on our own. If you have even the slightest doubt in your heart, please, don't wait another minute. Reach out, right now, and ask Jesus to raise you from the cave you've been in. The worst weeping will be for your soul that was not saved.

dedicated to my sister

August 13, 1974 - September 6, 2022

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