Member Meditation – May 23rd

We can’t meet face-to-face right now, but we can share and encourage one another electronically. In our “Member Meditations” posts, people share their favorite scripture passages and why they speak to them in this uncertain time.

A Member Meditation from Connor Freeman 

Certain lines of Scripture reverberate in my head on some occasions. One, often summoned to mind when I give in to anxiety and insatiable restlessness — “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a) — was elevated by Robin earlier last month.  Another — “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8b) — resurges whenever I feel lost.

In these days, when so many of my siblings in Christ are suffering pain and devastation, but I find myself suffering little worse than a crushing lethargy, I have to admit that no particular words are coming as readily to mind.  Unfortunately for me right now, the Bible does not have many kind things to say about idlers. But what about when being idle is what’s required of us to protect our neighbors!?

One big source of trouble is that, unlike St. Paul, I have not learned “to be content in whatever circumstances I am in” (Philippians 4:11). Neither am I very good at holding fast to the charge: “Cast all your anxiety on [God], because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

But then, when asked the other day to produce a midweek meditation, an unexpected verse came to mind. I found myself thinking about the shortest one in the Bible: “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).  

It’s a strange and not-so-strange thing, really. When Jesus learned that his friend Lazarus had died, he wept. I say it’s strange because, unlike most of the characters in the story, Jesus presumably knew that Lazarus would rise again! But as confident as he must have been in the coming miracle, he nonetheless allowed himself a moment to grieve. So should we.

It portends no failure of faith to react to a crisis with some anguish. If even our LORD wept at the news of death, then we certainly can, too. Even those of us as lucky as me, whose greatest demon to contend with in these dark days is lethargy, a time of healthy grieving for life and pleasures lost might be in order.

There are many passages from Scripture more likely to offer us comfort and hope in these difficult times — after all, we never need to go far before God reminds us: “Do not be afraid!” Yet there is also some unique comfort to be had in the image of a weeping God. In times like these, we can weep with him, and have faith that he weeps with us. Most importantly, we can recall what came after the weeping, and hold close to our troubled hearts the assurance that before long comes life!