Always With Us

by Keith Bortner

As we deal with pain, suffering, illness, and death due in our lives, sometimes it’s easy to think that it must be nice for God to be sitting up in heaven, not having to deal with all the trials of this life. But at the same time, we know better than that.
In the Gospel of John, we read the story of the death of Lazarus. Jesus was told that his friend Lazarus was sick. He waited two days to go to him and by the time he arrived, Lazarus had died. It can be very easy to read past the next few sentences that John writes just before Jesus arrives at the tomb. One of them is the shortest verse in the Bible, but it’s a powerful one. “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35 NIV) The One who is Lord over everything, who has the power to heal any illness and to resurrect the dead, wept over the death of his friend. Some of those around him stated, “See how he loved him!” (John 11:36 NIV) Others said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” (John 11:37) We go on to read that Jesus did, in this instance, resurrect Lazarus from the grave. But the thing I want to focus on is the fact that Jesus wept in that moment. He felt that pain of knowing how his friend suffered in the sickness that took his life. He felt the grief that we feel at the loss of a loved one.

We don’t serve a god who sits in a faraway place who is so far above his creation that he doesn’t know what it is to be human. We serve a God who became one of us and who fully understands us and the things we experience. He also reminded us of this when he gave the Great Commission “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 NIV) Our Lord is always with us. Through pain, sickness, suffering, and death, he is always with us. He may not always remove the hurts and pain we go through, but he is with us through them all.

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