Isaiah 63:9 NIV In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; and he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
There are times in life when we experience such heartache that it is unexplainable. In our limited perspectives we can’t seem to wrap our minds around the “whys” of it or offer an explanation for the atrocities of life. It is at those times that we can run to the only One who is able to offer comfort and to ease the pain of what we are experiencing.
Yesterday was one of those days in the lives of innocent little children and their care givers who had their lives snuffed out by an individual that chose to vent his inner anger, hurt or mental illness on others. We will never fully know the “why” of that young man’s choice to take the lives of others, but for those left behind to deal with the loss we must offer prayer, comfort and encouragement in their time of grief. We can know that when we hurt God hurts with us. He understands the pain that we experience and is there to wipe away the tears and carry us through the difficult days.
When I lost my husband and was in such a deep period of grief one morning I was praying about the “why” of it. Many questions go through the minds of grieving individuals: why did it have to happen?….How could God have let this happen?….How can I ever go on when such pain is in my heart?….Do I even want to continue living in the face of such a disappointment? It was at that moment when I questioned God about all these things that He spoke the above scripture to my heart. As I looked at that scripture I could see the pain of a parent for a child who was hurting. He hurts with us when we hurt. He lifts us up above the pain of life and carries us through the difficult days. Without God we would have no hope! Without His comfort and help we would have no reason to continue to live through the pain of life. Without Him we would have no peace. All the questions can’t bring back the lost loved one. Nothing can change what happened. The only comfort we have in those difficult times is knowing that God loves us; when we hurt, He hurts and He is there to love us through the pain and to carry us as we mourn.
God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to heal the brokenhearted; to save us from sin. Isaiah prophesied about the coming of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus, as this:
Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”
Jesus described His mission on earth and the fulfillment of that Isaiah prophecy in Luke 4:18, 19. He proclaimed Himself as the fulfillment of that prophecy:
Luke 4:21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
We live in a fallen world and as long as this world continues we will have pain, heartache, disappointment, sickness and poverty. But in Christ Jesus we have hope for tomorrow; healing for our pain and sickness, and provision for our lack. Through His presence we have comfort when we are hurting and a safe place in which to run when we are brokenhearted.
It is at these difficult times that we can gather around the brokenhearted to help them see that God is there to heal and carry them through their grief. We can weep with them, offer comfort for their pain and support them through the difficult days. We must offer them hope where there is sorrow and encourage them to continue on.
Romans 12:15 NKJV Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Father, words this morning do not come easily as I reflect on the pain and heartache that so many are feeling this morning in light of the school shootings yesterday. I know that You understand the pain that so many are experiencing today, not only in Connecticut, but all over the world as these atrocities are not limited to just our own land. The evil one is not particular about who he steals from, kills or destroys as long as it is a human being. Father, I pray that You will comfort the brokenhearted this morning. I ask You to carry them through the difficult days ahead. I pray that those who don’t know You will turn to You today and put their trust in You for salvation for You alone offer hope for tomorrow. Father, don’t allow them mourn as those who have no hope but help them to see their loved ones in Your arms so they may find peace in knowing that they are in a safe place with You. Place individuals around them to support and encourage them; to help them through this tragedy. Encompass their hearts with Your peace, Father. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.