Tuesday March 2 – Day 14 – WEEPING
Tuesday March 2 – Day 14 – WEEPING
“4 Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. 5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favour is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:4-6 (NKJV)
“32 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.”
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” – John 11:32-36 (NIV)
Today we are looking back at the first passage we shared in this devotional, Joel 2:12-14 (NKJV):
“Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
The Lord reminds us to turn to Him with all of our hearts, with fasting, weeping and with morning. Yesterday we looked at fasting and today we look at weeping.
Why is it that the Lord desires that we weep for Him? Doesn’t that seem a bit too much? Not really. When we look at the word weeping, it is much more than just crying. The Bible suggests that a good synonym would be lamenting, which suggests not only a response to loss, but also a deep emotional response to an external or internal stimuli.
I remember the times that I have openly wept, as they do not happen very often. They are the tears of my world shattering around me and are a response to either my lack of action, my own sin or a devastating loss.
If we are not weeping for the loss of our relationship with God in our pursuit of our own selfish lives, it is a sign that the relationship means nothing.
And God, being God, deserves our everything.
The crap and the masterpieces.
Our willingness and our inability to love Him fully.
Our inability to be true to ourselves.
We have all experienced those moments when we have pushed God away and want no part of Him because it just makes life easier.
And in those moments, God weeps for us.
In my own transformation story, John 11 plays a large legend. This is the story of the death of Lazarus, his friend, and Jesus’ response to his death.
He didn’t just cry a few crocodile tears and then went on His way, he WEPT.
He wept for Mary, Lazarus’ sister, and for all those who were weeping at the tomb. The scripture says he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
Because He loves, He weeps at such an intense loss.
In my own transformation story, it involves hearing a Southern preacher on a radio station sometime in 1985 one evening in my car after driving my girlfriend home. The preacher spoke on John 11:35 and joked that most children when told to memorize scripture would pick this one as it is the shortest verse in the entire Bible. The preacher continued and said, “Although the text is not clear on the reasons why Jesus wept, I would like to think that it was because Jesus was sad that He had to bring His friend back from Heaven, where there is no more pain, no more suffering…”.
God used those words on that summer night to speak directly to my life (and for those keeping track, that girlfriend became my wife). I began to see that God actually wanted the best for us, and that He grieved when those He loves turn away from Him. It opened my eyes to the possibility of a loving God who wants the best for us, and it changed my perspective on Jesus.
Although the preacher’s words may not have accurately reflected Scripture, the truth we can take away from this is certain: God loves us so much that He is affected when we are suffering and in pain. He meets us in that suffering and weeps with us.
This is why God invites us to turn to Him in weeping: He wants a genuine, honest response from us that comes from the depths of our souls.
Have you ever wept with such intensity because of your estranged relationship with God?
I invite you to remember your lives before God made an impression on your heart. Do you remember what that life was like? Do you remember how grateful you were that Jesus had changed your situation in such a way that it altered your perceptions, experiences and relationships? Do you remember what it felt like to be forgiven for the first time and allowed a “do-over”, when you felt you didn’t deserve a second chance?
The grace of God calls us to weep for Him and to ask for forgiveness.
God’s grace reminds us there is nothing we can do, but turn to Him in fasting, weeping and mourning. He wants our response to be genuine and from the depths of who we are.
I can tell you that if I ever rejected God’s love, I would weep and mourn that loss. I would not be able to continue.
If you feel you have lost God’s love, or that you have never fully experienced it, I want to invite you to pray. I invite you to ask God, in the midst of the weeping for this loss, that you want a fresh start. For some of us, we pray this prayer daily. May you respond from the depths of your soul, with all that you are, in an honest and genuine prayer. As the tears fall, remember that each one is marked by God and never missed. He knows how you hurt. He knows your pain, and wants to renew your spirit.
As you weep through the night, God promises all of us that joy most certainly comes in the morning. The sun will shine again. God will not keep record of our wrongs or our poor choices.
He continues to love us.
He continues to shower us with blessing.
He desires us to be all we are in Him, and that we are equipped to do the work He has called us all to do.
May the true weeping of your night be over, and may you begin to experience that overwhelming sense of joy that God brings in the morning. May your joy overflow to the world that is struggling without Jesus and may they experience your joy. May it be infectious.
May your joy bring honour to God today and every day. See you tomorrow 🙂