Updated: Aug 1
By Megan Criniere
I have been reading a devotional by a woman named Elisabeth Elliot. Her husband was killed in the jungles of Ecuador while ministering to a tribe, leaving her to care for their young daughter in a foreign country. She could have left the country and returned to America to resume a normal life. She could have hated the tribe that killed her husband and become offended at them and at God. Instead, she chose to stay, and God opened up opportunities for her to minister to the very tribe that killed her husband. Her insight into God's heart in the midst of suffering is profound and often a source of encouragement to me. Here's an excerpt from her writing:
The Lamenting Heart of God: John 11:35 Jesus wept.
When Christ stood outside the tomb of Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, He was overcome with grief, and He wept. Even though Jesus knew that He was going to raise His friend from the dead, the realization of how sin had caused such misery and suffering, ending in death, ripped His heart apart. Jesus’ response to the death of Lazarus gives us insight into the heart of God: God’s heart is a lamenting heart. It feels our pain. When we experience the pangs of human suffering, God suffers with us. When we grieve at the loss of our loved ones, God understands our sadness. He feels it as well, and He stands ready to comfort us whenever we sincerely turn to Him. Are you sorrowing today? Know that God feels that sorrow too. Give that grief to the One who knows your pain. Then, in His own perfect time and in His own perfect way, He will heal your pain if you invite Him to rule over your heart, life, and soul.”
I am grateful for the example of people who have gone before us down this road of grief, who have trusted God and emerged from the pain and loss more filled with His presence and more dependent on Him. I am longing to be transformed in the process and become more like Him.
- Megan Criniere