About Me

My photo
Mom of five lovely daughters, wife of one dashing man. Born in Utah, grew up in Oregon, live in Georgia.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jesus wept

In our Sunday School lesson this past week we discussed how to best respond to trials and adversity. There were some excellent points made about how we can find joy, even in the midst of trials, as we have an eternal perspective and exercise faith in our Savior. I believe this because I have experienced some of my happiest times in the midst of difficulty. I know that trials can draw us closer to the Lord and that the moments when we feel His sustaining power can be some of the sweetest, most tender experiences in life. But I also know that life can be hard-- sometimes really hard-- and that we are not expected to smile every minute of every day. I tried to make that point during our Sunday School lesson and feel like it was dismissed. The teacher went back to his point that we can choose beforehand how we will respond to adversity, and that if we have faith we will be happy. And ultimately he is right. But, there are moments in life that try the soul. And while those moments will be for our gain, I don't think it is unrighteous to feel sadness, pain, hurt, or sorrow.

I came to this realization after a long time of feeling guilty every time I felt sad. And that guilt would cycle into more feelings of sadness and eventual despair because I just wasn't able to exercise enough faith to be joyful all the time. But as I studied the scriptures I realized something that changed my point of view: "Jesus wept."

In John 11 we read the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Also included in that chapter is an account of the incidents prior to the miracle. When Lazarus was ill, Mary and Martha sent for Jesus. But Jesus didn't come to them immediately. He waited two days, and by the time he got there Lazarus had died. I believe Lazarus' death was part of the Lord's design because in verse 4, Jesus says, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." Jesus knew that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. But still, when he met Mary and Martha and saw their grief and pain, the scriptures say that he "groaned in the spirit, and was troubled" (v. 33), and then in verse 35 it says "Jesus wept." Jesus felt sorrow. He felt pain. And he wept.

This account has helped me realized that sadness is not a sin. It is a product of living in a mortal world. And sometimes it's okay to feel sad. In our moments of sorrow we can turn to the Lord and He will walk with us. He will feel our pain and help carry our burden. He will teach us valuable lessons and help us to find joy. And eventually the trial will pass and we will be able to look back and realize how blessed we truly have been. But in the moment it may not be fun. And if we weep we don't need to feel guilty for it because even Jesus wept.


Michelle said...

Thank you so much for that. How true! If we didn't know or feel sadness then we would not know or feel happiness. You are great, Jessi!

Shana said...

Wow Jessi! You are incredibly right!!! Yes, I agree completely with you!! It is good to cry. And it is great to know that Jesus has wept for each of us and our sins and the rough times in our lives! It is not good for us to stay in the sadness for days and days and days... however, I believe it is ok to be sad and to cry. We just can't let it bring us down too far that we can't get up. Thank you for this Jessi! I needed it. Everyone has trials and they sure are hard to go through, but if we don't experience them then we won't be able to grow. Hope this all makes sense. Jessi, you are such a wonderful woman!! You have such remarkable strength!! I love you tons. Thanks for visiting in the hospital. It was soooo good to see you! And Thank you again and again and again for the sweet quilt you made. It is beautiful!

Michelle Pyne said...

This is a wonderful lesson from those two short words of scripture. Thank you for reminding us it is OK to feel sadness. It's part of the plan.

Abbi said...

I love this post. You really have a way with putting things into words. Also, I LOVE those three pictures of Chloe with her whale-tail! I can't wait to see her in real life, too!

Natalie said...

I loved your comment in Sunday School. It was very profound and insightful so thanks for speaking up and saying it, even if you felt dismissed afterwards. You always enlighten...xoxo!