“We are safe, if dawn comes after darkness, and we are safe if it does not. God’s love for us is real, more real than the rock walls of Ceramir…” ~Ari Heinze, from Wind, Rain and Fire.
Darkness is painful. And while I know that God brings healing and that He can bring glory to His Name through the things that have wounded me, sometimes I can’t see the dawn coming. I always want to be healed from every wound in me, and this sometimes makes me feel like I need to view whatever that wound is in a positive light – that I need to be at that place where I am ready for God to use it for His glory.
But God revealed to me through His Word that I don’t have to be at that place, and just because I am not doesn’t mean that he sees that with disapproval. No, His Perfect Love is greater than that and far beyond I could ever imagine.
In John chapter 11, Jesus’ friend Lazarus falls sick, and dies, leaving his two sisters, Martha and Mary, behind.
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister, and Lazarus.” (John 11:5)
When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he said this: “‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.'” (John 11:4) Jesus knew that even though this would be a painful and dark expieriance for Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, it would result in bringing glory to God. But here’s the beautiful part.
“When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.
Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’
Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’
Jesus said to her, ‘I am the reserruction and the life. The one who belives in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you belive this?’
‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (John 11:21-27)
Martha had acknowledged that it hurt that Jesus didn’t heal her brother, that it was painful that he had died, and yet now she was ready to move on. She knew that even now God would give Jesus whatever He asked. And Jesus met her right where she was. In perfect love, He spoke to her wounded heart the words He knew she needed to hear. He was there for Martha, He loved Martha. But what about Mary?
“When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. ‘” (John 11:32)
The dawn did not come after the darkness for Mary. She was broken, and she was not at a place where she could look with peace on what had happened. She just collapsed at Jesus feet, weeping and broken.
“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in Spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you lain?’ he asked.
‘Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
Jesus wept.” (John 11:33-35)
Jesus was there for Mary too. He knew that Mary had not come to that place yet. He knew that she didn’t see the dawn. He knew that she was hurting and broken, confused and troubled. And that was okay. Jesus didn’t chastise her for this, He didn’t say, “Look, the dawn is coming, Mary, it’s going to be okay.” No, he wept with her. He let His tears mingle with hers. He loved Mary, and He was there for her, right where she was.
Wherever I am, I am safe in God’s love. He is there to move forward with me, and He is there to weep over me. It is okay to weep, and Jesus will be right there weeping with me when I need it. It does not matter if the dawn comes after the darkness or if it doesn’t. God’s love for us is real and present, and He is there to hold us and keep us safe wherever we are.