Disaster, disease and death—there are infinite instances every day that cause suffering. Because we live in a broken world, we all experience suffering in different ways.
Something God has really shown me is that sometimes we grieve for those who are suffering. In other words, when those we love are in pain, we hurt, too. God has placed in each and every one of us a heart of empathy for those we care about. We especially experience this grief if we have an emotional connection with someone who is afflicted. The stronger that connection is, the stronger we are effected.
Most often in these difficult times, we tend to question God’s proximity. We ask, “Why? Why would God allow this?” I’ve found myself stepping back in my spiritual walk in times when I see someone I care about suffer. I have always wondered where God is in the trials. It’s a hideous thought to conclude that God simply turns away. So where is He then?
During my personal journey of finding this answer, I have come across an attribute of God that I felt was hidden all of my life. I have found a God who cries for us. I have found a God who mourns with us in times of sadness and who dances with us in times of rejoicing. I have found a God who not only suffered for us on the cross, but is still currently in anguish for us.
Many people fail to realize that God cries over His hurting children. Scripture teaches us that God’s love will never end—it is infinite. Recall the pain of knowing someone who is suffering and apply that to God—a Father who has an infinite amount of pure love for all. Now imagine the pain that He must face every single moment when billions of people around the world, who He deeply and infinitely loves, are suffering right before His eyes. We will never be able to understand His omniscience. But we can relate to at least a tiny portion of that pain.
I have learned that there is a hidden beauty and comfort in God’s mourning. Just as a father wails over his lost child, Jesus wept over Lazarus and mourned with his family, despite fully knowing He’d raise him from the grave moments later. This reveals the beauty behind God’s mourning. It shows God’s love and concern for His children. God feels our pain. Just as Jesus wailed over Lazarus’s yet-to-be-resurrected dead body, He too cries over the billions of us suffering now, fully knowing that He will someday raise us just as he rose Lazarus.
“Where is God in our grief?” God is not only with us in our grief, He knows our grief like He knows the holes in His wrists. He knows and endures each ounce of pain we feel because He loves us with a perfect love. So as we wait in this pain-filled world for Christ to redeem us, let us remember that He mourns with us in our pain.