Psalm 121:1-2 (from the Psalter)
I lift up my eyes to the hills;
from where is my help to come?
My help comes from the LORD,
the maker of heaven and earth.
Faith does not mean we will never go through trials, and it certainly does not consist of denying difficult circumstances when we are in the midst of them. Faith is knowing the One who is our provider in all things – knowing Him as intimately as Adam “knew” Eve. It’s more than knowing facts about Him, or even claiming some promise He has made for ourselves. Faith is knowing God so well that we are confident He will not abandon us even when we fail Him, and He will work all things – even difficult and tragic things – for good if we yield our hearts to Him.
I will not say, “Do not weep”, for Jesus Himself wept in great sorrow. When Lazarus had died and Jesus saw his sister Mary weeping, and all the Jews who were with her weeping, “He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, ‘See how He loved him!’” (John 11:33-36)
Jesus wept, not for Himself but for those He knew were hurting so very deeply inside. Jesus wept, not from His own grief but because of His great love for those who were grieving. Jesus wept, even though He knew that what He was going to do. Jesus’ heart descended into their grief alongside them, then led them out of that grief into great joy.
Is your heart down? Are you weeping, grieving deeply? Is your burden just too heavy? Don’t lift your burden – lift your eyes. Lift your eyes and look up, up into the eyes of the Lord who loves you more than you can imagine, the Lord who invites you, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
You may feel that even Jesus’ yoke is too heavy for you now. Be patient with yourself, for Jesus is ever patient with you. He knows your grief, He knows your strength whether great or small, and He is with you in your grief. He will remain with you, and will lead you out into great joy by a path that only He knows.
Just keep looking up to Him.
Word of God: speak! Non nobis Domine+
by Fr. Dana Jackson