Strange Love

This morning Renee and I prayed with a couple that are within 4 days of being evicted from their home with their 3 children.  The husband’s business is failing, and he has cancer.  He looked at me and said, “I’ve been praying and praying, and things just keep getting worse.  I’m t i r e d.” 
 
His comments took me back to the days and weeks leading up to the death of our son Ian.  The days before he died I was praying fiercely for his life.  Then he died.  So this morning I wept with this father and I groped for words to say.  Words were hard to find.  Tears were not hard to find.  And tears are more eloquent than words. 
 
Later I remembered how God comforted me recently through showing me in John 11 how Jesus demonstrated His special love for Lazarus, Mary and Martha.  Everyone recognized that Jesus had a special love for this family.  So they were surprised that when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He delayed two long days before coming.  While He delayed, Mary and Martha buried their brother and grieved.  I’m sure they wondered why their dear Friend did not show up for the funeral.  That must have hurt. 
 
Sometimes God shows His love in the strangest ways. 
 
Jesus could have prevented Lazarus’ death.  He could have at least showed up for the funeral. He could have alleviated their pain sooner with an earlier resurrection.  But He delayed while they wept. 
 
He     delayed     while     they     wept.   
 
What kind of love is that?  When we’re waiting for God to show up, we tend to assume that He’s aloof or uncaring.  But when Jesus finally did show up, He wept with Mary and Martha so intensely that everyone finally saw how much He loved them. 
 
Mary got it.  Her love for Jesus was not extinguished by how He delayed and prolonged her pain.  In fact, she soon lavished her love on Him with costly perfume as she wiped His feet with her hair. 
 
This morning I had trouble explaining how Jesus’ tough love for us has deepened our love for Him.  It’s hard to explain, because it still hurts.  But it helps to know that Jesus wept.  

Comments
Levi Ndimubanzi
Thanks David,
This morning,my wife and i met with Bulus and his wife Salama to pray.We prayed for the highlights 2014.We all shared highlights for the year,from family and ministry fronts.I shared with them about two sources of pain that i have failed to get passed for the last 10years. One is about my mother whose liver and pancreas have been destroyed by chronic alcoholism.My father died of HIV/AIDS in 1995 and my mother was overwhelmed by the thought of dying in the manner he died and the stigma that came with such an ailment then.She started drinking alcohol to be able to sleep in the night but unfortunately she got dependent and has struggled since then.We had her checked for HIV for the first time in 2009 and to everybody's surprise she was HIV negative,but by this time she was so addicted,and had damaged her liver and pancreas.We had a lot of hope that this news would motivate her to stay free from alcohol but she just got worse.It is painful to see your mother die of alcohol! I have prayed and prayed until i don't have any other words to use in regard to this particular issue.And God has remained silent! Does he know the pain and shame we have endured over the years? Yes he knows! Few weeks ago the doctor intimated that her liver is finished and that she may not have much time left.We are just waiting!
Secondly, my little sister (23years),left the country and went to Malaysia to do prostitution...she was my favorite sister.I have been praying for my sister since she was 16 years,but it seemed like the more i prayed the deeper she got into self destruction.It hurts when you see your loved ones go through pain and later on die--but it is encouraging to know our Lord does not only see or know but,he himself experienced it.Thanks for the encouragement.Let's continue drawing hope from our Lord Jesus Christ and tap into his comfort.Am praying for you and the couple.
12/30/2013 12:30:32 PM

Wendy Lane
It does help to know that Jesus wept. And, that He really suffered. REALLY suffered. He didn't have to. But, He chose to cuz He loves me, and you! I know you know this :) it just helps me to remember it sometime. His love and grace are amazing, and ... yes, strange sometimes. :)
11/12/2013 4:25:22 PM

Janine Robinson
I write to you this evening from South Africa. A friend of mine in the US made me aware of your dear son and your precious family while you were walking through the fire. I prayed for you as a family and your precious Ian. Your amazing son, and each of you as his family made a precious mark on my heart and your testimony still points all to Jesus. My heart ached when I read about his "graduation".
2 years ago, my husband, our 2 daughters and I got to walk through the fire too when our infant son was diagnosed with a serious of heart defects. We prayed and believed with all our hearts. Then Jesus called our precious Zac home. Even though it was the most painful time in our lives ... we encountered the compassion of Jesus on a level I cannot even describe. Your words tonight take me back and wash over my heart. Knowing that Jesus sees and knows somehow carries us through when we don't know how we could possibly make it through. Encountering His grace for each day has given us a living hope in Him and allowed us to live with a peace knowing that both your Ian and our Zac are beacons of God's hope and love.
Praying right now for the precious family you mentioned.
Sending each of you much love.
Janine
11/10/2013 1:01:12 PM

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