Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday's with Jesus #162

#162 "Don't Even Know What To Call This One"
August 26, 2008
"Mourn with those who mourn" (Romans 12: 15b)
Casey Anthony sits smugly at home in Orlando, Florida this morning. She's wearing her ankle monitor, having hot showers and saying absolutely nothing to investigators about what really happened to her three year old daughter, Caylee, who has been missing since the middle of June. Mind you, Casey didn't even report Caylee missing until weeks after the fact. In the meantime, she was out partying with her friends and doing who knows what else. (Read more at http://www.foxnews.com/)
Closer to home, here in Detroit, another mom is grieving the loss of a baby, only a few months old. I received the news last night that as the family was getting ready for church, the baby was found dead and it looks like SIDS. 
I don't even know what my point there was, but I just saw the contrast between the two, and had to write about it. I'm sure that this young mom in Detroit would give anything to hold her baby in her arms...alive. The young mom in Orlando...I don't even know...seriously!
God's Word tells me that He is a just God. So that's where I leave Casey Anthony today. To the Judge, who will see that justice is carried out. "Jesus, you know exactly where Caylee is. Reveal that to those who are still searching. We hold out hope in You that she is still alive."  Jesus...
Here in Detroit, there is no media, no bounty hunter and no bail bondsman. There is no hope that this baby will ever come back. There is just a simple family with unimaginable pain and there are those of us who know them, wondering what to do. Praying for them, words fail and all I can say is... Jesus...
When you search the Scriptures you can find many verses that deal with death, dying and eternity. But what does the Bible have to say when the pain is so deep, and the words just seem to fall flat? As I searched concordances, expository dictionaries, and websites, only five little words seemed to fit. "Mourn with those who mourn." (Romans 12: 15b) Seems to me that being present for grieving people is not about what we have to say, but entirely about what we do. Mourn with those who mourn. Be present. Be a shoulder to cry ON. Be a friend who cries WITH. That's our part.
The prophet Isaiah wrote long ago about One who would come and "bind up the brokenhearted" and "bestow the oil of gladness instead of mourning." (see Isaiah 61:1-3) About 730 years later that One walked into a Jewish synagogue, picked up a scroll, and read from that same passage in Isaiah. After He finished reading, "He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down". Then He spoke, saying, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4: 14-21) He still sits today. Only now He sits at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1: 3) In the Greek, "sat" means to "settle, hover or dwell." He sat down when the work was done, when the words were fulfilled, when He said, "It is finished." Jesus Christ is alive, not predicted. And He is the only One able to bind up broken hearts and give gladness for mourning. I don't know how He does it. I can't say when He will do it. But I know that He will. And I entrust this grieving mother and extended family to His care, knowing that I know, that He is the only One who is able. That's His part.
There is no answer to the "why?" Job never did get an explanation as to why he lost seven sons and three daughters all at the same time. Let none of us be presumptuous or so full of ourselves to think that we can tell families like this why tragedy entered their lives. Don't be like Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite who thought they had all the answers and made God very angry. (See Job 42: 7-9) Be honest enough to admit that you don't have a clue! Sometimes there are just no words when the unthinkable hits a life. When it doesn't seem fair. When one mom doesn't care what happened to her daughter, and another mom longs to hold her baby in her arms and her heart is a big, giant, gaping hole. Mourn with those who mourn. Call on the name of Jesus...That's all I know.
Fall to your knees with me today, whether you know this family or not. Intercede for them that God would bring His comfort and tend deeply to each one. Ask Him to lift them up in the coming days and months as they struggle to go on. Never forgetting their precious little one. Pray for God to be God and provide strength, sustenance and His love. I heard Kathy Troccoli tell a story of her time of intense grief after the death of her mother. As she sat sobbing in a chapel, God said to her, "Am I not still God?" He is still God! Hallelujah! And because He Is, He is the only One who can heal and mend and bind up the broken pieces of our shattered lives. 
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21: 1-4) Eagerly wait for the day of God to come.
Jesus...For the Anthony's in Florida and for this family in Detroit....do what only You can do, in the way that only You can do it. We'll do our part and we are more than confident that You will do yours, in Your perfect way, and in Your perfect time. Amen.
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