When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled (John 11:33 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I knew the news was going to be hard, but I didn’t realize how hard until the phone call finally came. For the next several days I bounced between sorrow and disbelief, mingled with gratitude.
I was thankful for the brief time I would have with this person I loved. I was grateful for every moment and every memory. I was also sad. There were days tears came without warning, bathing my face as my hurting heart tried to work through the reality of what was taking place.
Did you know that Jesus grieved too?
In John 11, Martha stumbles toward Jesus. Her brother Lazarus is dead. Sorrow marks Martha’s very being.
“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (John 11:33 NIV).
Jesus is so moved that He weeps (vs. 35). He isn’t just weeping with her. He is weeping for her. Jesus knew that Lazarus would soon be resurrected from the dead. There was a miracle waiting just around the corner.
His tears were for her pain. Her loss. Her grief.
I’ve taken refuge in this verse the past few weeks, and I’ll take shelter in it in the months to come. I’m thankful that Jesus is not oblivious to loss or our sorrow. And, even more profound, I’m grateful that Jesus sees our troubled hearts and His tears join ours.
Why is this comforting?
- It’s comforting because it helps us to embrace sorrow as part of the grieving experience. We are not required to hide our tears. Those tears reflect the love we have for that person. Allowing our tears to fall is healing and healthy.
- It’s comforting because it allows sorrow to dance with gratitude. We make room for our grief, even as we recognize that our faith, His presence, and those who love and support us in times like this, are such a gift.
- It’s comforting because as we grieve, it will allow sorrow to ebb, bit by bit, even though our love for that person will never fade.
- It’s comforting because there are still miracles ahead. We don’t know what those miracles look like, but we don’t have to. Jesus does, and we can trust that.
I don’t know what loss you’ve encountered or what you are grieving today, but I know this: Jesus sees your hurting heart and His tears mingle with your own.
My prayer is, that like me, you can take comfort in that. You are loved. You are seen. He weeps with you.
Jesus, tears come without warning. I understand they are not a sign of weakness, but a demonstration of the depth of love I have for this person. The thought that You weep with me is beautiful, for Your tears are a demonstration of Your love for me. Thank You so much for that beautiful gift in this time of sorrow.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How does the news that Jesus weeps for you help you in your sadness?
I’ve been told that “tears are the sweat work of grief.” They allow you to feel, to understand what is going on in your heart, to accept what you cannot change, to live, and to begin to heal.
Understanding that you don’t grieve alone is healing. Give yourself permission to let those tears fall.
More from the Girlfriends
In Suzie’s book, JoyKeeper: 6 Truths That Change Everything You Thought You Knew About Joy, she invites you to explore key joy stealers and how to exchange them with JoyKeeper truths that change your heart and your faith.
One joy stealer is the belief that God is disappointed when we are sad, or when we feel any other strong emotion. God not only created you to feel, He cares about how you feel. When we are honest with God about our emotions, we not only give ourselves permission to feel, but to begin to heal.
(As an Amazon Associate, Girlfriends in God earns A SMALL COMMISSION from qualifying purchases using this paid link.)
© 2022 by Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
Amen. None of us are alone when we grieve. I understand that Jesus weeps when I weep, this devotional has allowed me to understand that Jesus sees my tears and my grief when I am hurt.
This has brought me much comfort this morning but I struggle with grief that I am confident God would not want me to experience. The grief of losing a 25 year marriage because I feel like the evil deceiver has taken over my husband’s thought patterns. Yes, we have not had a perfect marriage and have a lot to work on but we’ve had each other, 2 beautiful children, team work in ministry, and a lot of fun along the way. How do I grieve without giving up hope but also live with joy?
Shell, I believe that sorrow and hope can dance together. I believe that we can find joy — not in our circumstances — but in what we experience as we lean into the Source of our joy. I talk about this in the first chapter of my book, JoyKeeper. There’s a free chapter (or two) you can download at http://www.joykeeper.me. Praying with you as you walk through this hard season, but are also held close in the love of a God who loves you like crazy.
Some years ago, I read about a tragic event that happened in a church. A man brought a gun and began firing, wounding and killing several people, including the pastor. The pastor’s wife wrote about being deep in a pit of grief and despair. And then she realized…Jesus was right there with her. He felt every hurt, cried every tear, and his heart was broken right along with hers. That was profound for me! And I remembered: Jesus wept. We have only to take his hand-in our grief or in our JOY. He is with us always!
Thank you, Suzie. There were several years in my life marked by multiple losses of loved ones. Several years later, it seems like I’m finally processing them along with the changes in life that come with loss. It hurts, and I miss them all. Thank you for the reminder that it’s okay to cry even if it’s at random times. I don’t think I’ve ever paired this verse with one of my grieving moments. I immediately cry out to God for comfort thinking it only looks like Him immediately shutting off my tears and taking away the pain. However, this verse and devotional suggest to me that maybe His comfort comes in the form of LETTING me cry, crying WITH me, and allowing the hurt to be expressed rather than shortchanged.
Praying the same with you. Praying that every tear you’ve held within will find sacred place in the presence of a God who loves, loves, loves you.
Bless you, for blessing me, this am.
I have family members that just don’t want to have a walk with Jesus.
I feel so defeated when I pray about their “heart conditions” and I feel even God is tried of my prayers for them. Their continued denial of Jesus, breaks my heart;
so I realize Jesus does hear and feel my pain. If I don’t continue to ask for their forgiveness in God, who will pray for them?
Thank you (for tears)showing me reminders in scripture, (John 17)& (Hebrews 7:24)that Jesus feels and sees. Thank you, Maura for your words, too.
Your prayers over your loved ones are heard. Praying for those prayers to be like seeds in their lives. Praying for them to walk into God’s love and realize how wide, how deep, how vast is the love He has for them.
I just recently lost my husband
Jennifer, I’m so sorry for such a great loss. I can’t imagine how hard today is for you. Father, I pray for Jennifer, that she will feel you close as she grieves the love of her life. That she will feel your presence, experience your comfort, and that people will love her well during this season of loss. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Hi, Suzi, Thank you for this reminder of Jesus love and compassion. I’ve prayed for you this morning as you walk this road of sorrow and memories.
That’s for sure : )
I have comfort in knowing that God our father is in heaven, he is in control. God hears our prayers when we speak to him just as he heard his son Jesus Christ when he prayed to his father.
I lost my husband six years ago to Parkinson’s. Everyone told me that the pain wouldn’t be as bad as time went on. At that time I did not believe them but it has.
I have my days that I just break out crying because I miss him so much especially in times that I have to make decisions. I would love so much for him to be by my side to give me direction.
He was a child of God and had a strong faith and belief that the father loved us and was with us through the pain and joy to comfort us to forgive us to support us to help us in our time of need.
We can rest assured no matter what it is God the father will never leave your side we can leave him that he will never leave us
Praying for renewed comfort and joy over your heart today. What you say makes so much sense, Jean. Thank you for sharing your story. <3 He sounds like he was an amazing husband to you.
Lost my mama last Jan. 8th. 2021. She was 85 years old and lived with my husband and I for 5 years. I miss her terribly. I have also lost a brother, sister, dog and my Bonus Dad over the course of the last 10 years. I thought I’d be prepared for something happening to my mama but I wasn’t. I can’t believe how bad this hurts. I pray over time it gets easier. I’m petrified of who I’ll loose next. Praying for God’s comfort, healing, peace, protection and comfort over my husband and family in Jesus name!
I feel a strong connection with all of you who have expressed your grief and told your stories here today. I don’t think I’m the only one, either, who feels that all who have commented and all who have read this devotional, and, I think, Suzie herself have been drawn together in a special bond of girlfriend-ship and love for our Savior.
Be assured: God is so good. He knows our needs and hears our prayers. He counts every tear that falls. And, oh, how deeply he cares, despite our weaknesses, failings, and even distrust.
Remember the one little lamb that wandered away and got caught in a briar bush. The Good Shepherd didn’t rest until the one was restored to the sheepfold even though it meant treading steep and treacherous ground and wounding his own flesh while reaching among thorns to rescue the trembling little one. This story that Jesus told doesn’t just apply to a lost soul. I just realized this as I am writing today. So often I feel like the helpless lamb—bewildered and hurt, ashamed and alone. The Good Shepherd always hears our cries; always picks us up with strong yet gentle hands and carries us close to his heart.
This bit of the Psalms comes to mind: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name, for the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting and His truth endures to all (ALL—that’s us) generations.”
Allow yourselves to be loved today, sisters. Each of you is beyond precious to Him.
Dennia, what a beautiful thing to share.
Allow yourself to be loved today. Those are powerful words and faith-changing. You are truly an encourager and a gift.
Thank you, Dennia, for the reminder that the Good Shepherd always hears our cries, He always picks us up with His strong yet gentle hands and He carries us close to His heart.
Such a sweet and comforting devotion. I read my GIG devotions everyday. I do have one question about this though:
“And, even more profound, I’m grateful that Jesus sees our troubled hearts and His tears join ours.
I don’t know what loss you’ve encountered or what you are grieving today, but I know this: Jesus sees your hurting heart and His tears mingle with your own.”
I thought there would be no tears in Heaven. I can’t find the scripture that says Jesus cries tears in heaven with us when we are sad and troubled. I know he did while on earth. Thanks for clearing this up for me.