"Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"John 11:34-36 (New International Version)
My son’s 10-year-old cat died today. Quite unexpectedly and quite suddenly. One moment she was following after him as she was wont to do – and the next – she laid down on the carpet - gasped for breath - and was gone.
I know to most of you this will seem trivial to the things you are experiencing. A cat died. So?
For my son, it was devastating. Sita was his baby – she followed him everywhere, slept with him, and loved him. Seeing him in his grief – 25-years old, 6’5’ and a tough muscular man, crying unabashedly over the loss of his pet, touched me – and showed me something about God.
Sometimes, God seems far away for many of us. Yet, I was privileged to see what unconditional love looks like up close. Scripture tells us that God created man (male and female) in His image. I take that to mean that He has instilled in us, the same types of emotions that He has and feels.
I wonder if God weeps when we walk away from Him. I know that Scripture says that Jesus wept over the death of Lazarus.
I guess it can seem petty to compare that to the loss of a cat.
And yet – the pain my son felt –and still feels is real. He has lost something that to him was precious and irreplaceable.
I believe that each one of us is precious and irreplaceable to God.
I’ve never really thought much about God grieving over us. I’m thinking about it now.
Our challenges can cause us to doubt, and question, and sometimes walk away. I believe that God grieves for us, much in the same way my son grieved over the loss of something he can never have again.
Am I stretching things here? Maybe – and maybe not.
Love is love.
Grief is grief.
Who am I to measure either of those?
And I’m sentimental enough to believe that God grieves – because my son is feeling pain and loss.
I believe He grieves incredibly more when we choose to walk away.
Father God, I pray that you would help us to understand the breadth and depth of Your love for us. We were created in Your image. We were created to love. We were created to be loved. Help us to seek your love in our times of pain. Amen and Amen.
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