8:51 AMHeather

A few years ago, our family had the pleasure of traveling to Alberta, Canada to attend Moose Lake Gospel Camp for a week of family camp.  Moose Lake is a long time family tradition for my Aunt Peggy, whose family helped found and now helps run the camp.  For years, we'd heard story after story of the famous Moose Lake.  My cousin, Abigail, was even born there.  After many years of dreaming and hoping, we were finally able to make it happen to attend family camp.  And we surprised our children, as well as my family in Canada, with our arrival.

It was like a scene from a movie when we showed up, and my aunt, uncle and cousins first saw us.  Epic.  For sure one of the best surprises I've ever pulled off.  

And it didn't take long for me to see for myself why Moose Lake lives up to its legendary status.  On the very first night of worship, I was overcome.  It's hard to explain.  But, it was one of those amazing times when I knew I'd met God there.  I felt my burdens (and there were many of them) slip away.  I felt peace instead of anxiety.  I felt a sense of hope burning through the clouds of dread and concern.  I felt safe.  Completely and utterly safe.  In the presence of God.  As the dam broke, the tears came.  Then the sobs.  And, yes, I fell into the worst ugly cry ever.  My sweet Auntie Peggy turned to hug me, and eventually led me back to her cabinShe joined right in with my crying.  We sat there, huddled together, crying together, for quite a while.  I felt the release of the sadness and worry and confusion and discouragement from so many different circumstances.  I simply was overcome.

It must have been close to an hour before I could even begin to compose myself.  Peggy handed me tissues as she pulled some for herself.  And, just as we were able to wipe the tears and begin to talk, she asked this question.

"Why are we crying?"

We both laughed and cried more.  

That is love.  In that moment, I felt her love so deeply that it still brings me goose bumps.  Such a picture of someone who loves you so much that they feel your pain, own your suffering, and share in your sorrow to the point of weeping themselves.

What a picture of our Savior.  After all, Jesus wept.  Most often, that's a verse that we tend to tease about in our family.  Easy to memorize.  Hard to forget.  But, not one we tend to dwell on much.

Yet it deserves some attention.  Especially this week.  As news of loved ones being lost continues, time after time.  We heard news Monday of a friend in England who awoke with a headache and was gone by dinnertime.  How my heart aches for his sweet wife.  How I am burdened for my friends who have lost their mothers this last week.  How sad I am to hear of the death of one of the sweetest saints that I ever knew who faithfully served children at our church.  How I wish I knew the right words to say to offer a measure of comfort.

And, then this morning, as I was once again lifting these precious friends to the Lord in prayer, I remembered.  Two little words with so much impact.

Jesus wept.

You see, this little sentence deserves our attention.  When Jesus first heard news of his dear friend, Lazarus' illness, he said that this illness would not end in death but for the glory of God.  Jesus knew that Lazarus would not stay in that tomb.  He was not crying because of a sense of finality from death.  He knew the impending miracle would bring laughter and joy.  

Jesus wept because of Mary and Martha.  Jesus wept because he shared in their sorrows.  Jesus wept because he felt their pain.  Jesus wept because he owned their suffering.  He felt it deep down in his soul and it brought tears to him.  He wept because his beloved friends wept.  

And for each of you darlings who are weeping yourself, may I offer you this insight during your dark days.  Jesus still weeps.  He weeps right along side you.   

You keep track of all my sorrows.
    You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book.  
Psalm 56:8  
       (New Living Translation)        

You've surely heard the saying about a tender hearted person that no one cries alone in their presence?  May I assure you, bloggy friends, no one cries alone in the presence of your Abba Father who loves and adores you and cherishes you as his most prized possession.  You are not alone in your sadness.

No, indeed.  He quiets you with his love.  He rejoices over you with singing.  The Lord your God is with you.  He delights in you.  He is mighty to save.  Zephaniah 3:17 gives us each of these sweet promises.  

Glimpse of GRACE:   That is the love of your Savior.  Jesus weeps.  He weeps with you.  He aches over your heartache.  He longs to hold you close.  Will you run to him, and climb up into his lap of love, and let him rock you gently and walk you through your darkest days?  

This is our God.  A God who reached into our humanity and walked in our shoes in order to carry us to salvation.  A God who offers this eternal hope to encourage us in our temporal pains and sufferings.

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.
Revelations 21:4

Sweet bloggy friend, we do not grieve without hope.  But, we grieve with a God who weeps with us and carries us to a eternity of no more tears.

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