What pain or heartache do you find yourself in today? What struggles have gripped your heart with fear and anxiety?
I have a beautiful story to share with you today–not a new revelation or a fresh word from God you’ve never heard before. I want to share a timeless truth from an eternal Word that never grows old or becomes irrelevant.
As we continue in our Biblical Women Just Like Us series, I have been so moved by this short narrative of a widow who was burying her only son. You see, in her day, she had no opportunity for employment, insurance, or a 501-K. All her livelihood was tied up in those two men. And they were gone.
“Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out–the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd was with her.”Luke 7:11-12, NIV 84
A large crowd with Him and a large crowd with her–can you picture all these people moving in opposite directions through the town gate? Jesus had been busy teaching, healing, and leading His disciples, but when He saw this woman, his heart was moved.
“When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, ‘Don’t cry.'”Luke 7:13
Honestly, I can’t even read that verse without a gigantic lump in my throat. The tenderness of our Savior! I can’t imagine losing my husband. But many of you have. I don’t want to think about losing a child. But some of you are there right now.
When I think of the pain, the loss, and the hopelessness she must have felt, I just want to curl up in a ball and cry for her. But God.
God in human form met her at that gate, looked her in the eyes, and said, “Don’t cry. I’m here now.”
You know why? Because He is compassion. He is love. He sees our hearts; He hears our cries; He knows our pain. And His heart goes out.
“Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, get up!’ The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.”Luke 7:14-15
Can you imagine what the young man began saying when he sat up and realized he was alive? Can you imagine his mama’s joy? She got him back. Her loss was returned. Her pain was soothed. Her future was restored.
Jesus hates death. He hates the pain and suffering it causes. That’s why He was willing to touch an unclean coffin. That’s why He went to the cross and conquered death once for all. That’s why He came back on the third day.
Jesus’ victory over death is the hope that we all have. Sin in this world is what leads to death (Genesis 3), but Jesus offers us life.
“This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”2 Timothy 1:9b-10
Jesus may not raise our loved ones here and now, but if they belong to Him, they will be raised to life, and we will spend eternity together.
Even in our loss, Jesus can still look us in the eye and say, “Don’t cry.” Because He is here. He has conquered death, hell, and the grave. He is still moved with compassion in our losses.
And He is still able to give us back what we have lost. Our pain soothed by His touch. Our hope restored for the future.
For me, this story not only demonstrates the heart of God for us, but also challenges me to share the gospel with those I care about. The hope of resurrection is for those who belong to Jesus.
When I remember that we are mortal, and this world is not our home, I am even more motivated to share the love and truth of Jesus with those around me.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”Colossians 3:1-2
We don’t hear from our widow and her son again after their encounter with Jesus, but you can bet their lives were never the same. When we encounter death, loss, pain, and struggles, we too can experience the tender touch of the Savior.
We too can allow His love and compassion in going to the cross move us from death to life. We can hope again. We can smile again. Because Jesus is here.